Homeless Awareness Pavilion/ Academic 2015

Digital Design and

Full scale Fabrication


Institute of Architecture - 

Die Angewandte Vienna, 

Bollinger+Grohmann Engineers, Loftcity Brotfabrik


Andrei Gheorghe

The noHOME pavilion shall paraphrase the idea of a sheltered space, which at the same time does not satisfy the basic needs of a home (protection, sleeping, eating, living). It is conceived as an architectural opportunity to draw public attention towards the social problem of being without a home/homeland.

The aim of the design is to raise consciousness about implications of being homeless for the persons concerned and their perception in society. In order to achieve this, the design explores and evokes subjective feelings such as the lack of privacy and the missing of a protective interior, a certain ambiguity between inside and outside with varying degrees of exposure, the perception of a hostile environment leading to an aggressive contextual interface and a limitation of space without the provision of shelter functions to weather conditions.

Structural Design Concept

The project examines the potential of polymer concrete applications and the production of wood/polymer concrete composite materials in the large-scale architectural production. This polymer concrete was cast with laminated wood materials to create structural stiff nodes. The necessary formwork was developed from the node geometry, thus eliminating the operation of the formwork removal. The CNC milled,3-layer spruce timber boards were fixed temporarily with screws, then filled with polymer concrete and thus rigidly connected. The cured polymer concrete/wood node has high structural capabilities, and can withstand both pressure and tensile forces.

The support system has been developed from the so-called Zollinger system, where small modules are prefabricated and joined to form a greater structure. We created a parametric model in the Rhinoceros and Grasshopper software, and tested virtually various subdivision densities and node sizes. The overall structure was evaluated with the structural analysis tool Karamba, the different heights of the lamellas arise from the constructive analysis of stresses and deflections under vertical and horizontal loading.


All 122 nodes were cast separately and bolted on-site. The geometry has been developed with the assistance of the software plugin Rhino Vault to develop a purely compressive load freeform shell. Therefore, no supporting formwork was needed for construction.


The construction was also based on preliminary investigations with polymer concrete at the University of Trier (Prof. Wieland Becker and Prof. Robert Thum). Bollinger Grohmann Ingenieure (Robert Vierlinger) supported this research with Structural and digital design experise.

Other team members: Andrei Gheorghe, Robert Vierlinger, Jiaxing Lu, Christian Schwarzwimmer, Agnese Trinchera, Anna Sergeeva, Banafsheh Fahimipour, Carina Zabini, Cecilia Sannella, Ceren Yonetim, Adam Sebestyen, Afshin Koupaei, Andrea CArniti, Angelica Lorenzi, Atanas Zhelev, Barbara Schickermueller, Eva Blaskova, Florian Smutny, Jiri Vitek, Johanna Joekalda, Julia Karnaukhova, Leah Park, Mathias Stigsen, Miro Straka, Bernd Seidl, Dennis Schiaroli, Fady Haddad, Johanna Jelinek; johannes Cziegler, Kaan Karabagli, Nasim Nabavi, Nicolas Gold, Luca Beltrame, Sophia Keivanio, Sophie Gierlinger, Sven Winkler, Ziwar Al Nouri, Marko Margeta, Katerina Joannides, Maria Korolova, Mary Denman, Niklas Knap, Roman Hajtmanek