Robot Made 2022: Mille-feuille Pavilion

The Mille-feuille Pavilion is a robotically fabricated temporary pavilion installed at the University of British Columbia. The pavilion is the result of a workshop hosted by the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). The workshop took place from June 4-8, 2022 and was led by Assistant Professor David Correa of the University of Waterloo, Oliver David Krieg of Intelligent City, and Associate Professor AnnaLisa Meyboom from UBC SALA.

The installation explores how complex shapes can be designed and built using a traditional material such as wood. Wood has traditionally been used in hierarchically arranged straight sections however wood is a material that is easily machined into a diversity of shapes and its’ material characteristics also allow it to be elastically bent.

Millefeuille investigates the idea of laminating a structure once the structure curves more than the natural bending radius of the material it is made with. Many engineered wood products are created using lamination. The lamination allows smaller elements to be assembled to create a larger element and also allows the grain of wood to be customized to the desired structural behaviour. Lamination has also been used to produce curvature – as in curved plywood chairs by Eames. This structure laminates at a larger scale: planks are bent along a control line and once the structure curves more than the natural bending radius of the material it is made with, the structure adds a lamination on the side to continue the curvature and meet the desired curvature of the base plane. Laminations in this case are created using only wood connections, with connection shear blocks and moisture activated dowels.

Starting with parametric design tools, structural principles for wood construction, robotic CNC milling and digital workflow management, workshop participants were provided with a unique insight into the new opportunities and challenges of advanced design-to-fabrication processes for timber structures. Parametric design and robotic fabrication are disruptive new technologies in architecture that allow us to build high performance structures of unprecedented formal complexity. Wood is a natural partner for these technologies because of the ability to easily mill and shape it with robotically controlled cutting tools. Wood is also highly sustainable – not only is it a renewable resource but it also stores carbon – making it one of the most sustainable building materials in the world. This experimental structure demonstrates the new capabilities of the technology to develop innovative material applications that harness the unique properties of wood to animate public spaces.

Fabricated and assembled over three days, the pavilion is conceived as an adaptable design-to-fabrication system that can be customized to suit local material availability and fabrication tools. The output geometry also included enough detail to give instructions on the placement of every subsequent piece, thus allowing assembly to proceed very quickly. Built using the state-of-the-art eight-axis industrial robot at CAWP, the pavilion demonstrates how old materials and new technologies can reshape our built environment.

Design & Development

David Correa
University of Waterloo:
llLab. – Design Laboratory:

Oliver David Krieg
Intelligent City:

AnnaLisa Meyboom


UBC Project Leads

Jason Chiu
Brandon Chan
Claudia Ediger
Lief Eriksen
UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing:


Built by

 Student Participants:

Kenneth Anggara

Nora Boone

Meena Chowdhury

Adrian Chiu

Sarah Garland

Marina Ibrahim

David Kalman

Nicholas Krahn

Sahar Kazemeini

Yuxiang Liu

Isabelle  Luisser

Aïden Mézidor

Lorena Polovina

Sarah Pitoscia

Changwei Qiu

Esraa Saad

Tyler Solu

Piero Sovrani

Jay Starnino

Carissa Tzeng


Industry Participants:

Marc-Antoine Chartier-Primeau – 3XN Architects /GXN InnovationJesse Cotey

Kurt Drachenberg – Fast + Epp structural engineering

Dave Dunn – BCIT

Tobias Fast – Fast + Epp structural engineering

Eytan Fiszman – Fast + Epp structural engineering

Michael Frazier – Christine Lintott Architects Inc.

Ben Hayward

Greg Hoffart – Tree Construction Inc.

Alan Hung

Ainsley Jackson

Breena Jackson – BCIT

Danny Jacobsen – Fast + Epp structural engineering

Katherine Kovalcik – MGA | Michael Green Architecture

Nazlee Markowsky – studioHuB architects

Sebastien Sarrazin – Perkins & Will

Esaly Wu

Billy Ying Wai Ma

Dazhong Yi – IBI Group


Teaching Assistants:

Julieta Alva
Maverick Chan
Angela Gmeinweser
Parastoo Varshosaz



Forest Industry Innovation



UBC School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture

UBC Faculty of Forestry

UBC Campus & Community Planning


Film Production

Shabaan Khokhar


AnnaLisa Meyboom Interests & Works

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