A hyperbolic sculpture


TWISTED is based on the structural principle of a "rotational hyperboloid" after Vladimir Schuchow.

At the end of the 19th century, the Russian architect Vladimir Schuchov designed this new structural typology: the hyperbolic lattice tower. He wanted to build a tower that would be taller than the Eiffel Tower but use a less amount of steel. Schuchow's structural principle forms a lattice-like, doubly curved supporting structure around circular intermediate levels from straight struts. This results in the so-called "rotational hyperboloid”. This hyperboloid is characterized by its stackable lightweight structure, which despite its low weight has a high load bearing capacity.

In addition to two approximately 150 meters high towers in Russia, structures according to the Schuchow principle are used, for example, in open-air, transmission and antenna towers.


Keywords: Parametric design, Schuchow, parabolic hyperboloid, frame, Alucobond, light dead load, high load capacity, lightweight design

Design idea

TWISTED formally continues Schuchow's structural principle, in that the central axis is no longer straight but curved. As a result, the intermediate levels are spatially inclined and extend the scope of creative possibilities to a considerable extent.

The geometries of the individual parts were generated in a digital model so that maximum stability could be achieved by using the minimal amount of material. At the same time, the model served the constructive development of the connection points and definition of the component geometries, together with the punctures and incisions of the joints.

Aluminum instead of steel

Instead of steel, the prototype was realized with 4 mm thin struts as "strips" made of Alucobond. Alucobond is a very lightweight composite material, which is used regularly in facade panels. The industrial cutting of the 2 cm wide strips with their integrated folding joints presented a challenge, which was solved by the close cooperation with the project partner "BOBO".


TWISTED was presented for the first time at the Designers Open' 2015 in Leipzig and impressed visitors and experts alike.

Currently, the FLEX research group is looking for interested partners to further develop the idea in application projects.


processed by:

Lena Salm,M.A.

Sophie Seifert,M.A.

supervised by:

Martin Dembski,M.Sc.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Stahr