Back to top

London Design Festival at the V&A
Elytra Filament Pavilion

18 May 2016 to 06 Nov 2016
Brompton Design District
Mon - Sun 10am - 5.45pm, Fri 10am - 10pm
020 7942 2000
Free Event
The John Madejski Garden, Level 1
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • pinterest
  • instagram

Commissioned by the V&A as part of the V&A Engineering Season, Elytra Filament Pavilion was created by experimental architects and engineers Achim Menges, Jan Knippers, Moritz Dörstelmann and Thomas Auer.

Part of the V&A Engineering Season
Supported by Volkswagen Group

The glass and carbon fibre canopy is inspired by the filament structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles, known as elytra, and was fabricated using a novel robotic winding technique.

Its design is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, the filament structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra. Made of glass and carbon fibre, each component of the undulating canopy is produced using an innovative robotic winding technique developed by the designers. Like beetle elytra, the pavilion’s filament structure is both very strong and very light – spanning over 200m2 it weighs less than 2,5 tonnes.

Elytra is a responsive shelter that will grow over the course of the V&A Engineering Season. Sensors in the canopy fibres will collect data on how visitors inhabit the pavilion and monitor the structure’s behaviour, ultimately informing how and where the canopy grows. During a series of special events as part of the Engineering Season, visitors will have the opportunity to witness the pavilion’s construction live, as new components are fabricated on-site by a Kuka robot.

With additional support from Tideway

London Design Festival at t...
Partner information

The London Design Festival at the V&A

For 2016, the Festival will continue its unique collaboration with the world’s leading Museum of art and design. As the central hub location for the London Design Festival for the seventh year, the V&A will again house a broad range of commissioned activity which will be spread throughout the Museum and include installations, events, talks and workshops.