algorithmic modeling for Rhino

'THE SWARM' is a parametrical designed, free-standing, sculptural pavilion. It develops its form from the theme of a flying flock of birds. By joining 211 individual, CNC-milled modules the result is a play of density, light and shadow. The focus is yet on the characteristic features of a swarm of birds. The curve gives the pavilion the dynamic of a passing flock of birds which streaks the ground only for a glimpse and moves upwards to the sky in its next movement. At a second glance a complex system reveals itself, which is the base for the connection of the individual parts and the entire shape.

29.03.2012: the vernissage:

23.03.2012: we are done!


19.03.2012: folding

sorting things out

17.03.2012: making some progress:

16.03.2012: installing the steel birds:

classifying the 'birds':

folding the 'birds':

15.03.2012: building the foundation:

14.03.2012: cnc-milling the 'birds':

13.03.2012: material test at Materialprüfamt der Technischen Universität München:

the swarm-parametric pavilion from sascha posanski on Vimeo.

The development of the "SWARM" finds its origin in April 2011. At the Institute for Emerging Technologies at TU Munich, the idea was born in collaboration with visiting professor Charles Walker as part of an internal student contest. At the intersection between architecture, engineering and product design, The Swarm was chosen as the winner in July 2011 by a jury of renowned external architects, designers and industry representatives.


This first draft was the basis for the now presented final result: Within five months, the students Sabrina Appel, Max Langwieder and Sascha Posanski instructed by the assistants Nadine Zinser-Junghanns, Wieland Schmidt und Moritz Mungenast put the realization of the SWARM into practice. In doing so, the project became an exemplary cooperation between various departments of the Faculties of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy at the Technical University in Munich.


The developed structures lead to a result that is unique up to now. The main material used is the composite Alucobond. By combining various milling techniques an intelligent folding of the plane material is enabled, which are thus brought into a three-dimensional, stable form. Due to the character of the material the pavilion is weather resistant and thus suitable for use in outside areas. To compensate the forces affecting the sculpture, three different bird-modules were developed: one-way folded modules, modules with a folded Alucobond inlay and for the base points modules with a steel inlay. This method assures a consistent shape of the modules, an optimal distribution of forces and also supports the nodes.


Now a 1:1 model is realized in the outdoor area of the Bavarian Chamber of Architects. The 14 meter long, 4.75 meter wide and 4 meter high sculpture reflects the complex system it is based on. Viewing the pavilion from sideways it shows a dynamic flock of birds. In contrast the back view reveals the clear logic of the system by looking at the formation of the modules. The visitor is invited to discover the characteristics of The Swarm through one’s own personal experience and impressions.


The project is supported and sponsored by 3A Composites GmbH, Aluform, Metallbau Böhm, Würth, Erco, Terrafix, ThalerKies and Boels.

Engineering: Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner.


Opening: 29th of March 2012, 7:00 p.m.

Exhibition: 30th of March 2012 - 04th of Mai 2012

Outdoor area of the Bavarian Chamber of Architects

Haus der Architektur, Waisenhausstraße 4, 80637 Munich



Department of Emerging Technologies, TU Munich

Nadine Zinser

Wieland Schmidt (

Moritz Mungenast

Ulrike Fuchs



Sabrina Appel

Max Langwieder

Sascha Posanski

how to find it:

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Comment by Wieland Schmidt on March 25, 2012 at 11:16am

Thanks taz. We are done now and here are the final pictures:

Now we are looking forward to the vernissage on Thursday (29.03.)

Comment by taz on March 23, 2012 at 10:59am

This is great!  Thanks for sharing and keep the updates coming!

Comment by ANGELOS on March 22, 2012 at 4:08am

Sehr schnittig geworden, wow

Comment by Ivan Kiryakov on March 19, 2012 at 12:21pm

Sieht TOP aus, shade dass ich nicht da bin!

Liebe Grüsse an Nadine :)

Comment by Wieland Schmidt on March 15, 2012 at 4:25pm
Comment by Wieland Schmidt on March 15, 2012 at 3:21pm

Hi Oz, glad you like how it turned out. Here are some pictures from the mock-up:

Comment by Wieland Schmidt on March 15, 2012 at 3:19pm

Hi Taz, we are using something similar like ground screws. Its a product from Terrafix (, the 'screws' a 150 cm long and have a very wide winding. We have seventeen of them. The swarm will generate a lot of wind force so the screws will have to hold up to 15kN. Wieland

Comment by taz on March 15, 2012 at 2:41pm

What exactly are those foundation elements being installed?

Are they some variety of ground screws?

Comment by OZ on March 15, 2012 at 9:32am


 Since I took part in that course, Led by Prof. Charles Walker, I can say these guys did a great job! Well done.





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