Reutlingen University in Germany (reutlingen-university.de/en) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative known as the Texoversum. This pioneering training and innovation centre for the textile industry stands as a one-of-a-kind establishment in Europe. Remarkably, the new building’s facade, spanning nearly 2,000 square meters, embodies both the forward-looking prowess of the textile sector and Reutlingen’s rich 160-year heritage as a textile hub.
Futuristic Facade with Advanced Materials
The Texoversum’s facade represents a remarkable leap forward in construction technology. Its components have been meticulously crafted from fibres, which are secured using a unique plastic resin developed by Covestro AG (covestro.com). This remarkable facade is just a glimpse of a transformative technology that holds the potential to revolutionize the entire construction industry. Its intricately designed structure draws inspiration from nature’s networks, such as spider webs, beetle wings, and palm leaves. These fibre arrangements are incredibly lightweight, yet astonishingly strong, bearing a striking resemblance to their natural counterparts. Such engineering minimizes material usage, conserves resources, simplifies transport, and streamlines component assembly.
Architectural Innovation Driven by Sustainable Practices
At the heart of this innovation is architect Professor Moritz Dörstelmann, a co-inventor of the technology and founder of FibR GmbH. Dörstelmann’s revolutionary approach contrasts with traditional construction methods, as it employs only the necessary fibres to achieve optimal structural strength. This efficiency not only curbs material consumption but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Dörstelmann envisions wide-ranging applications for this technology, encompassing roofing systems, supports, and interior fixtures. Covestro’s Desmocomp aliphatic polyurethane resin system acts as the cornerstone, embedding fibres in a robust matrix that ensures durability and resilience. This resin boasts exceptional resistance against weathering, UV radiation, chemicals, and flames—qualities that make it a fitting choice for outdoor applications.
A Multifunctional Space for Learning and Creativity
Occupying approximately 3,000 square meters, the Texoversum hosts an array of functional spaces. Workshops, laboratories, a textile collection, think tank areas, and classrooms converge to create an environment fostering learning, collaboration, and innovation. The Texoversum’s construction costs, amounting to €18.5 million, have been generously covered by the employers’ association Südwesttextil, a group that proudly includes FibR among its members.
In summary, the Texoversum stands as an architectural marvel that seamlessly blends tradition and innovation, reshaping construction norms through its visionary design and resource-efficient techniques.