Digital MethodsTeachingThesis Projects
Bachelor Thesis - Nils Opgenorth

Butterfly House

Nils Opgenorth | Bachelor Thesis


Nowadays with advancing fabrication methods and the help of digital technologies, new physical construction processes are possible. These can lead to a more resource-ef­ficient production and material-specific design. This way it is not only possible to just produce one building component in mass, but also to slightly variate in every piece, as long as it is possible within the chosen fabrication method.

Research Question: Can you build an entire building out of one variable component?

The shape of the butterfly house was designed on the basis of a construction system of thin, bending-loaded panels and digitally planned throughout. Geometry, material, detailing and production were developed integratively and result in an architecture that consists exclusively of a thin skin. Stability is achieved with a minimum use of material thanks to the flexurally active form. It negotiates the static necessities with a sophisticated differentiation of the interior. The transparency of the constructive panels coupled with the pattern created by the construction level allow for the most diverse insights and lead to changes in the direct surroundings due to different permeability.

The butterfly house is located in the prairie garden, which shows high seasonal dynamics and unusual plant combinations. The vegetation picture is to remind of the North American prairie. The attraction of the plantation is that it changes a lot during the year and at times looks like a wilderness with vigorous, interwoven plants. With this dynamism, the prairie garden offers an excellent environment for the expressive volume of the butterfly house, which blends into the landscape via elevations in the terrain, which also makes it accessible to the visitor.


A demonstrator of the construction system was manufactured during the summer semester 2019 and exhibited in the Sprengelmuseum in Hannover.


Nils Opgenorth

First Examiner:
Prof. Mirco Becker

Second Examiner:
Prof. Michael Schumacher

Winter Semester

Butterfly House Demonstrator