Julius Natterer

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Julius Natterer
Natterer in 2015
Born(1938-12-05)December 5, 1938
DiedOctober 25, 2021(2021-10-25) (aged 82)
Nationality (legal)German
Occupation(s)Scientist, inventor, wood expert
AwardsAcadémie d'architecture 1986
Academic work
Sub-disciplineWood construction
InstitutionsEPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Julius Natterer, (December 5, 1938 – October 25, 2021), was a German engineer and professor of wood construction at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.[1][2]


Julius Natterer studied at the Technical University of Munich, where he graduated in 1965.[3] He then stayed there for nine years as an assistant. During this time, he founded his own wood design office. In 1978, he was appointed to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. There he headed the timber construction laboratory (IBOIS / EPFL) which, according to the ideas of the university president, Maurice Cossandey, was to give a new impetus to timber construction in Switzerland.

Peer Haller, Professor from the Institute metal and timber construction at the University of Dresden University of Technology in Germany, says that he is one of the most important personalities in the field of timber construction.[4] He is the designer of many new construction systems in solid wood and nailed planks. He is also known for the geodesic roofs he designed in wood, such as the Polydome at the EPFL in 1991 and the Expo in Hannover in 2000. Julius Natterer, as a practitioner and teacher, quickly realised that structural wood engineering had to be taught in a mixed way to engineering and architecture students. To develop this ambition, he initiated a postgraduate course in wood engineering and architecture at EPFL in 1988 in collaboration with Professor Roland Schweitzer. A pioneer of this type of master's degree at EPFL, he joined forces with Professor Jean-Luc Sandoz, an engineer in wood materials and structures, to bring this training to an international level. This expert continued to share his passion for wood construction, long after his academic retirement in 2005.[5] Julius Natterer is regularly quoted as a reference by the generations that follow him, particularly during official presentations on sustainable development.[6][7]

Prizes and honors[edit]

  • 1976: German Metal Structure Prize[4]
  • 1981: Mies van der Rohe Award European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture[4]
  • 1986: Medal of the Academy of Architecture[4]
  • 1992: Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences chaired by Lena Treschow Torell[4]
  • 1995: Ernst Pelz Prize and Merit Award in the USA[4]
  • 1999: Bibliography of Swiss History [8]
  • 2002: World Award for Timber Structures in Malaysia[4]
  • 2005: awarded the main prize of the Schweighofer Foundation[4]
  • 2005: Designated Champion for the Earth by the community of Vaud for his valuable contribution to the preservation of the environment in the canton by the Athena Foundation and the Association pour le Développement du Nord Vaudois[7]
  • 2012: Mr. Bois award [9]
  • 2018: At the 8th International Wood Construction Forum, he receives a tribute, alongside many of the engineers he has trained throughout his career, from all his peers, engineers and architects in wood construction[10]


He is co-author of several world-class reference books on timber construction in several languages, including the EPFL's Atlas of Construction and Treatise on Civil Engineering, volume 13:[11]

  • Atlas of timber construction (ISBN 978-2-88074-602-5)[12]
  • Traité de génie civil de l'EPFL, Volume 13, Construire en bois (ISBN 978-2-88074-949-1)

Wooden structures[edit]

  • The Vallorbe bridge at Ballaigues, 1989[13]
  • Polydome EPFL, 1991[14]
  • Eine-Welt-Kirche, Schneverdingen, 1999[15]
  • Roof of the 2000 World Exhibition, Hanover 2000[16]
  • Sauvabelin Tower, Lausanne, 2003[17]
  • Wil Tower, St. Gallen, 2006[18]
  • Zenith, Limoges, 2007[19]
  • Luxembourg Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, 2010[20]
  • Construction of the roof of the Evangelical Free Church Christuskirche Heiligenstadt, 2011[21]


  1. ^ "Julius Natterer — People - EPFL". People.epfl.ch. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  2. ^ "Décès de Julius Natterer, le 25 octobre 2021". 27 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Ingenieurporträt. Julius Natterer - db deutsche bauzeitung". Db-bauzeitung.de. 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Haller, Peer (February 2008). "Eminent Structural Engineer: Julius Natterer" (PDF). thost-iabse-elearning.org. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  5. ^ "Curr E New Cv 6 2010 8 2011". Fr.calameo.com. 2021-04-25. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  6. ^ Depner, Sandra (March 2019). "Menschen, Ich bin nicht der Holzbau-Papst" [People, I'm not the timber construction pope]. Holzbau-schweiz.ch (in German). Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  7. ^ a b "Einfach Bauen mit Holz - Späte Werke von Julius Natterer" [Simply building with wood - late works by Julius Natterer] (PDF). informationsdienst-holz.de. June 2011. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  8. ^ "Bibliographie de l'histoire suisse". Nb.admin.ch. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  9. ^ "Distinction Monsieur Bois 2012 | Batimag". Batimag.ch. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  10. ^ "Forum Construction Dijon 2018 - 8e Forum International Bois Construction Palais des Congrès Congrexpo Dijon (FR) 11, 12 et 13 avril 2018" [Forum Construction Dijon 2018 - 8th International Wood Construction Forum Congress Center Congrexpo Dijon (FR) April 11, 12 and 13, 2018] (PDF). forum-boisconstruction.com. 2018. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  11. ^ "Construction en bois (TGC volume 13) - Matériau, technologie et dimensionnement - Julius Natterer, Jean-Luc Sandoz, Martial Rey". Epfl Press. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  12. ^ "Construire en bois - - Thomas Herzog, Julius Natterer, Roland Schweitzer, Michaël Volz, Wolfgang Winter". Epfl Press. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  13. ^ Nicolas Janberg. "Pont de Vallorbe (Ballaigues, 1989)". Structurae. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  14. ^ "Polydôme at the Campus EPFL Lausanne by J. Natterer; left: Photo: W | Download Scientific Diagram". Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  15. ^ "Eine-Welt-Kirche Schneverdingen". Markusgemeinde-schneverdingen.de. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  16. ^ "Julius Natterer - 70 Jahre". Holzkurier.com. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  17. ^ Debraine, Luc (2003-08-27). "La tour de bois qui étreint le panorama lémanique - Le Temps". Le Temps (in French). Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  18. ^ Kurt Leuenberger (2018-06-23). "Der Wiler Turm hätte schon 1884 gebaut werden sollen". Tagblatt.ch. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  19. ^ "Internationale Leistungen im neuen "Holzbulletin"". www.lignum.ch. 30 September 2010.
  20. ^ "Bois Consult Natterer - PROJEKTE". www.nattererbcn.com.
  21. ^ "Kirche in Bamberg". Architekt.ulricharndt.com. Retrieved 2021-05-23.

External links[edit]