The pioneering era of building with glass fiber reinforced plastics discussed in this dissertation is intended to provide an understanding of architecture made of GRP. Only those realized projects were included that definitively used glass fiber reinforced plastic to support and create architectural space. These projects are summarized in a catalog within this paper and supported by various photos and drawings.
The chapter ,The Pioneer Phases’ describes the historical course as well as the economic, political, social and cultural influences. Realized structures, divided into usage categories (residential housing, second housing, exhibitions, playground equipment) and building components (building shell, roofing, facade) are then further examined in the chapter: ,Uses’. ,Architecture/Form Finding’ then investigates examples and sources of inspiration that influenced the architecture of plastic structures. Not a single building material that exists today has been continuously used since its discovery. Each and every one of them is defined by the ebb and flow of progress and their times, a tedious development phase and multiple setbacks. The pioneering phase of building with glass fiber reinforced plastics is therefore to be considered as a mere beginning in the matter. The foreseeable development trends are pointed out in the following chapter: ,Outlook’
The knowledge about the progression of the pioneering phase, the reasons for and against the use of GRP and the developed constructions, joining techniques and support structures can only be useful to a renewed use of the building material, which is barely 70 years old.
The purpose of this dissertation is to rightfully establish GRP as a functional materials within the architectural landscape. The analysis of the pioneering phase is intended to uncover the forgotten facts, to expose the prejudices that arose in the 1970s and present fiberglass-reinforced plastics for what they truly are: high-performance building materials especially suitable for curved and folded constructions.
Prof. Dr. phil. Achim Preiß
Faculty of Design, Bauhaus University Weimar
Prof. Dr. Norbert Schmitz
Muthesius - Kiel University of Art
Die Pionierphase des Bauens mit glasfaserverstärkten Kunststoffen (GFK) 1942 bis 1980
(The pioneering phase of building with glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP) 1942 to 1980)