Building at ETH

John Hill
25. October 2017
NEST HiLo Roof Prototype Zurich (Photo: Screenshot)

A couple recent videos highlight the groundbreaking work of two research groups — Block Research Group and Gramazio Kohler Research — in the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zürich.

Block Research Group's NEST Hilo Roof Prototype (2016-17) "investigates the feasibility of spraying a textile reinforced thin concrete shell using a lightweight flexible formwork composed of a tensioned cable net as falsework and tailored fabric as shuttering." It was built — and destroyed, as the five-minute film documents — as a "dress rehearsal" for the thin-shell (70mm/2-3/4") roof of the larger NEST Hilo project under construction on the Empa-Eawag campus in Dübendorf, Switzerland.

For the ARS Electronica Festival, which took place in Linz, Austria, last month, Gramazio Kohler Research contributed Rock Print: A Manistone. As the name indicates, the installation built upon their 2015 Rock Print piece at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, but this time "it is the purest yet most highly advanced presentation of the robotic fabrication of jammed gravel held in place by computed and robotically placed string patterns to form architectural structures." Watch its constrution and demolition in just over two minutes.

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