tectonics – zollinger roof


As Langmuir began looking into the history of lamella’s he would have uncovered its origins in the 1920’s, and its particular identification with one Friedrich Zollinger. Zollinger, (1880 – 1945) who trained as an architect and engineer – and from 1918 onwards was city architect in Merseberg, N Germany – is credited with developing his patented Zollinger lamella design, as part of a cheap and quick building method for roofing housing in the immediate post World War 1 period. His lamella decks emphasised small timber sections for forming near curving barrel arches with the material result that many were built across Germany, particularly in and around Merseberg. Having founded the Merseberg Building Company in 1922, over the following years Zollinger expanded the timber technique to be applied on schools, churches and large halls. Other architects also took up lamella’s including the experimental Berlin architect Hugo Häring, also a forerunner of the twentieth century organic building tradition. His Gut Gatkau farm barn, designed for an experimental community in North Germany, continues to be considered a critical part of the other Modernist tradition with Häring viewed as a forerunner to the likes of Utzon, Schareen and Aalto.
In the aftermath of the German experiments lamella designs as economic solutions for spanning large spaces began to come into their own, migrating to the States. In 1927 one of the largest Zollinger lamella’s went up to house an arena in St Louis, Missouri, while through the 1930’s a number of aircraft hangars were constructed, though as timber fell from favour and twentieth-century materials such as concrete and steel took precedence the lamella option became rarer and rarer.haring-haering-hugo-2732813-htumblr_lvgn6mNcLl1r1iyhm

architectural association school of architecture diploma unit 16 ©2012