BAMP in Venice

Exhibition of the research project "Building with Paper" at the Venice Biennale of Architecture

2021/06/01 by

Making of | Photo: ECE/Palazzo Mora

Developments in recent years in the field of wood construction technology show how building can change through research on the material and the further development of techniques. High-rise buildings with a primary structure made of wood are no longer a rarity. To lead the building material paper to a similar success story, a multitude of challenges arise. In materials sciences, for example, the biological and chemical properties of paper need to be clarified widely from the ground up with a view to the requirements in building design, e.g. concerning moisture and fire protection as well as statics.

Since 2012, an interdisciplinary consortium at TU Darmstadt has been researching the fundamentals of building with paper – from the fiber to the construction. The results are now being presented comprehensively for the first time at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

The exhibition shows the process at the interface of creative processing to scientific and engineering research – from the optimization of existing paper materials to the search for innovative constructive solutions. The aim is to develop sustainable alternatives for construction.

Showroom | Bild: ECE/Palazzo Mora

The special feature: the exhibition, which is made almost entirely of paper, attempts to transfer the design of the exhibition venue in the historic Palazzo Mora to paper through a very precise treatment of the surfaces. Numerous models, drawings, pictures and a floor-to-ceiling 1:1 model provide an insight into the state of research and the potential of paper as a building material.

The exhibition starts with the example of existing paper materials and visualizations of the fiber and how it can be shaped. The following theme shows connections, joints and processing methods of paper materials, which could be solutions for building materials. Different samples represent how paper as a material can be rethought and optimized.

The exhibition concludes with applications for architecture and design and shows a selection of spatial-architectural models in different scales, which have been developed in the course of scientific research in BAMP, accompanying projects and in teaching courses.

The exhibition will be on display at the Venice Biennale of Architecture from May 22 to November 21, 2021, in the exhibition “Time Space Existence”

Project website accompanying the exhibition:

Building with Paper

The exhibition “Building with Paper” originates from the LOEWE 2 focus “BAMP! Building with Paper” at the TU Darmstadt.

Research project website


The research project and the realization of the exhibition were supported by: