Extract of “Let’s meet Yves Weinand” by Mister Emma
Yves Weinand
Yves Weinand is a Professor of Timber Construction at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, where he is the Director of the Laboratory of Timber Construction, IBOIS. As a transdisciplinary ENAC laboratory, IBOIS is active in both the Institute of architecture IA and the Institute of civil and Environmental Engineering (IIC). Weinand received his M.SC in Architecture from the University of Liège in 1986, his M.SC in Civil Engineering from EPFL in 1994 and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University RWTH Aachen in 1998. At EPFL, Yves Weinand and his collaborators are involved in the teaching of about ten courses ranging from Bachelor to Postgraduate level. This notably includes: a design studio (3rd year bachelor and 1st year master), the elective course Introduction to Computational Architecture, a Massive Open Online Course Design of Integrally attached Timber plate Structures launched in 2023.

Part time employed at EPFL, Yves Weinand is also founder of the Bureau d’Etudes Weinand, ingénierie et architecture in Liège, Belgium. His office is active in the conceptual design of structures at the intersection of structural engineering and architecture. In 2017 he received from the Académie française d'architecture the Médaille technique for exceptional technical achievements in architecture. Yves Weinand won numerous first prizes in architectural competitions such as the Vidy Pavillion, the Brussels Sportstower or the 2025 Phänomena exhibition in Zurich.

Technology Transfer Contracts TTO/EPFL
Several private projects acquired by Yves Weinand as an architect are also subject of technology transfer contracts between IBOIS/EPFL and those partners.

The Annen Project allows the transfer of an EPFL developed code applied to the specific vault structure of this project and its technical implementation at the company’s facilities Annen SA in Luxembourg.

The Rossinière Centre d’activité Gare Grand Chalet has been prepared by Technology transfer contracts with the Vaud State concerning the economic boosting of small timber companies of the pays d’Enhaut, the digital implementation of a new parametric tool within those companies and the parametrization of a hexagonal timber vault using local irregular timber.

The Brussels Sportstower aims to integrate small irregular timber trunks from the Brussels Forest into the competition design by applying an integral design workflow developed at IBOIS. Those TTO transfer contracts allow for the implementation of additional innovative technologies developed at EPFL on top of the existing competition design

IBOIS laboratory
Research publications
IBOIS laboratory

Future practice

Scaling-up wood construction from wood provision to new materials and processes, relevant standards, and new design and retrofitting concepts has become environmentally necessary in architectural practice. Timber engineering products and construction concepts have immense potential to reduce Greenhouse Gaz emissions. Building with biomaterials sequesters carbon in forests, stores carbon in long-lived buildings, substitutes carbon-intense materials (e.g., concrete, steel), and reduces energy-related emissions in the built environment.  Architects need to be informed by optimised wood use based on required material properties as well as creative design concepts coupled to advanced 3D modelling 

Thanks to digitalisation, it is possible to merge this complexity along a single supply chain into a Whole Wood concept, which combines forest management requirements, processing/fabrication C-emissions balance, and geometrical robotically automated processing for structural and architectural applications. Linking locally selected specific trees to specific local architectural realizations could redefine architectural and engineering practice, allow for new architectural languages, and create local circularity.