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MAS 2018 / 19

Concrete Choreography


From ancient civilisations to the present day, columns have served as elements of architecture particularly tied to the harmony, balance and proportion of architectural orders – so much so that they have come to be recognised as works of art in their own right. What could the contemporary design of a new column order enabled by emerging digital technologies be like?

In collaboration with the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland the installation Concrete Choreography consists of nine, individually designed,  2.7m tall columns. Each column is concrete 3D printed at full height in 2.5 hours with the process developed at ETH Zurich, with the support of NCCR DFAB.

Students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture explore the unique possibilities of layered extrusion printing, demonstrating the potential of computational design and digital fabrication for future concrete construction.

This novel fabrication process allows the production of concrete elements without the need for any formwork. In addition, one-of-a-kind designs with complex geometries can be fabricated in a fully automated manner. Hollow concrete structures are printed in a way where the material can be strategically used only where needed, allowing a more sustainable approach to concrete architecture.

Framing and informing the dance performances of the 2019 summer season in Riom, the project showcases how technological advancements can bring efficient and novel expressions to concrete architecture.

Digital Building Technologies

Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger

Teaching Team: Ana Anton (DBT), Patrick Bedarf (DBT), Angela Yoo (DBT), Timothy Wangler (PCBM)

Design to Fabrication team (Students): 

Aya Shaker Ali, Chaoyu Du, Eleni Skevaki, Jesus Barney, Jonas Van den Bulcke, Keerthana Udaykumar, Nicolas Feihl, Nik Eftekhar Olivo, Noor Khader, Rahul Girish, Sofia Michopoulou, Ying-Shiuan Chen, Yoana Taseva, Yuta Akizuki, Wenqian Yang

Origen Foundation:

Giovanni Netzer, Irene Gazzillo, Flavia Kistler, Guido Luzio

Research Partners:

Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, Prof. Robert J. Flatt, Dr. Lex Reiter

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners:

Debrunner Acifer Bewehrungen, LafargeHolcim, Elotex, Emerys Aluminates

Related research:

installation Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Benjamin Hofer

View from the sky installation Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Andrei Jipa

Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Keerthana Udaykumar

parametrized design Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Patrick Bedarf

fabrication-setup Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Axel Crettenand

detail Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Angela Yoo

Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Benjamin Hofer

Concrete choreography DBT

Image: Benjamin Hofer

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