Non-standard to the highest degree and unique in every detail. That’s Free Form, the premier class of timber construction. Fascinating Free Form timber supporting frameworks and shell structures create timber constructions that will astound you. Some timber construction appears almost impossible. Free Form structures made from wood amaze onlookers with their complexity and set themselves apart with the highly individual nature of each component.

We make architectural visions a reality in accordance with the rules of engineering and timber construction. State-of-the-art planning and production methods open up new possibilities and redefine the limits of what can be achieved. Ideas for complex constructions and dynamic forms become tangible and are expressed through distinctive timber architecture.

Making extraordinary timber construction a reality

From visionary to amazingly simple, we deliver extraordinary timber constructions worldwide; on time, on budget and to the highest quality. Our qualified personnel, digital planning tools and modern, in-house CNC production make it all possible. We are the point of contact at every stage of a project: from technical development and construction to assembly. Coordinating the various work stages – developing the geometry, structural engineering, building physics, production, logistics and assembly – is one of the core responsibilities of our experienced project managers.

Portrait Martin Looser Division Manager Free Form Blumer Lehmann

Martin Looser

Division Manager Timber Construction | Free Form | International
Member of the Executive Board

+41 71 388 58 28

From idea to finished Free Form construction

  • Project development 
  • Parametric planning
  • 3D modelling
  • Mock-up, scale display model
  • Project management
  • Timber construction planning, engineering
  • Assembly, logistics

3D modelling of timber structures

The key to innovative timber constructions

Modern timber construction starts in a virtual space, where a 3D digital model, also known as a parametric model, enables different versions of highly complex construction projects to be digitally programmed and tested. Creativity has almost no limits here. Thanks to parametric planning and programming, we can successfully harmonise even the most unusual forms, functions and constructions and produce these on our systems at competitive prices.

3D planning of a timber construction and creation of a parametric model on the computer.<br/>

Project management for modern timber constructions

organising, coordinating, managing

Free Forms need a project management team that is at the centre of construction activity and involved at every stage of the planning and construction process. Coordinating and managing subcontractors and suppliers requires a high level of expertise. The project manager and their team ensure that the timber construction delivers high-quality workmanship and that deadlines and costs are adhered to. It is also their job to organise the complex logistics, which often involves huge distances on foreign projects. The project management team also acts as a link between the site manager and client to ensure that the timber Free Form construction progresses smoothly. Organising, coordinating and managing: the project management of complex timber constructions requires a range of specialist skills.

Project manager and team at the centre of the construction process for Free Form projects.

CNC Free Form production

For complex timber architecture

Complex timber constructions are an engineering challenge faced daily at Blumer Lehmann, and one we’re ideally equipped for. Depending on project requirements, we’ll find the right machine at our production facility. The five-axle CNC trimming line, for example, is the centrepiece of our Free Form timber production, enabling even the most complex components to be processed.

Processing of complex components on the CNC trimming line at the Blumer Lehmann factory.

Magician’s hat Knie

Curved timber supporting structures

At the heart of the zoological gardens at the Knies Kinderzoo in Rapperswil, Blumer Lehmann constructed a 26-metre-high Free Form tent-like pavilion in timber that creates a visual highlight in the zoo. The multifunctional building is a combination of prefabricated timber construction and Free Form and serves as an events venue. The cantilever pavilion roof is made from spruce and fir wood and was constructed as a shell-shaped support structure, producing the special roof shape and creating a circus atmosphere inside the magician’s hat. The magician’s hat is a modern timber construction consisting of two lots of 12 paired and symmetrical roof elements. Precise parametric planning and pre-programming guaranteed cost-effective production. The prefabricated timber structures also optimised the construction time and ensured high-quality workmanship.

The curved timber creates a circus-like atmosphere inside the magician’s hat.

New Free Form headquarters for Swatch

Precision timber support structure

Blumer Lehmann produced one of the world’s biggest timber constructions for the Swatch headquarters in Biel. The serpentine timber construction amazes onlookers with its unusual dimensions and astonishing Free Form wooden support framework. The organic shape of the three-dimensional facade has a surface area of over 11,000 m2 and stretches across a distance of more than 250 metres. The Free Form timber constructions are a combination of timber framework and prefabricated timber construction, all of which require the use of state-of-the-art technology. Timber support structures that are as precise as a Swiss clock mechanism.

View of the impressive timber lattice structure on the Swatch office building

Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Resort Free Form timber construction

Golf resort with impressive timber architecture

Seven timber buildings were constructed in South Korea between 2008 and 2018. Timber Free Forms are a defining characteristic of the golf resort and include a clubhouse, Learning Centre, Recreation Centre, underground Grand Hall and three apartment buildings. The Learning Centre features a sloping roof and oval timber construction. The curved roof stretches between two monolithic, stone-clad entrance buildings. In contrast, the 21 timber columns in the clubhouse construction resemble an overhanging treetop canopy. The timber architecture is inspired by nature and traditional Korean basketwork.

Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club, interior shot, stairs in the Learning Centre, with artificial light

Production of a parametric model

CNC production of wooden On trainer

Based on a 3D model and working with a well-dimensioned wooden block, the five-axle CNC machine at Blumer Lehmann created a finished wooden On trainer in no time at all. The precision of the oversized three-dimensional wooden trainer is now fascinating visitors at the Switzerland Innovation Park in Zurich.

Free Form brochure

Reshaping timber architecture

The brochure provides an overview of our Free Form projects and services.

Cover page of the Free Form brochure in English