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A modern
willow grove

The architectural design for the Archive of the Future integrates leading technology with the local basket-making tradition of the city of Lichtenfels. Local weavers have for centuries used the willow tree as their basic material. Honouring this economic and cultural tradition, the new building and the adjoining public square will be composed of three artificial willow trees, built using inventive yet subtle steel construction methods.

The structure of the trees will develop autonomously, guided by generative algorithms strung together from the willow’s meticulously selective genetic code and printed in 3D using additive 3D welding processes. This same process – using 3D printers or printing robots – will apply to the production of the entire building complex, representing a technical and architectural first.
Beneath the 3D-printed willows, a glass pavilion will emerge onto the public square, resting on a small plateau, beside a pool of water. The ground floor will feature a large glass façade opening up to visitors, while the upper floor will accommodate offices and meeting rooms. The digitally generated willow grove is set to trace the former silhouette of the old historic building on the market square. Made of tempered stainless steel, its surface will shift in tone from reddish brown to a lustrous light blue.

About the architect

As a practising architect running his own firm in Munich since 1991, Peter Haimerl concentrates on projects transcending the conventional boundaries of architecture. He is committed to creating nonintuitive solutions and keenly original outcomes. In his practice, comprehensive concepts are created, wherein architecture blends seamlessly with fields such as computer programming, sociology, economics, politics and conceptual art. Forging symbioses among these varying elements sparks the audacity and technological inspiration driving each of his building designs, the implementation of which he guides from conception to the final phase of construction. In keeping with the motto “Attraction not Restriction,” Peter Haimerl has been increasingly devoting more of his attention towards “Building in Existing Contexts.” Within the framework of the "Building Patron" initiative launched by the architect himself, Haimerl is deeply committed to revitalising the continuity of local building cultures throughout the Bavarian Forest. Each of his projects is special, the requirements are specific, the solutions subtle. Peter Haimerl has held teaching positions at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, the College of Fine Arts in Braunschweig and holds a visiting professorship at the University of Kassel. He has been a professor at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz since 2019.

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