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The flax plant has a Swiss Army knife’s worth of uses. A well-known health food, its seeds are recognized for their nutritional value. It’s also the origin of linen, one of the oldest textiles in the world, and its natural fibres have recently made their way into flax board wall panels, car doors and composite surfaces. But is the delicate flowering plant strong enough to make up a load-bearing structure?

To create the livMatS Pavilion, a robotic arm wove together strands of flax, bundling them around a winding frame.

Recently, advanced digital technologies have made the answer a resounding yes. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of architectural tech students and researchers at the Universities of Freiburg...

A Recyclable University Pavilion High in (Flax) Fibre

Freiburg’s livMatS pavilion makes a case for adding more flax to construction project diets.

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