Butterfly House

Thesis and Exhibit


The demonstrator shows a version of the butterfly house designed by Nils Opgenorth as part of his bachelor's thesis at the Chair for Digital Methods in Architecture. The shape was designed on the basis of a construction system of thin, bending-loaded plates and digitally planned throughout.

Geometry, material, detail and production were developed integratively and result in a piece of architecture that consists exclusively of a 2mm thick skin. The shown version of the butterfly house has a surface of 49 m² and a volume of 12 m³. Its stability is essentially a product of the bending active form with minimal use of material.

The iridescent polycarbonate plates are assembled with a specially programmed algorithm and CNC-cut. The finished panel elements are connected along their seams with a lacing technique, which creates the unique shape of the building during construction.

The form negotiates the static necessities with a sophisticated differentiation of the interior. The transparency paired with the iridescent effect of the material allows a wide variety of views and leads to changes in the immediate surroundings through colour reflections.

The demonstrator was presented at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover on 13 August 2019 and exhibited there for the following week.

This text was translated from German.  


Project Leaders:

  • Prof. Mirco Becker
  • Nils Opgenorth