twisting concrete workshop

The workshop looks at experimenting with materials and design techniques. The work had two stages: first research on the potentials of the technique of casting double curvature surfaces in concrete. Second stage was to design and produce a piece using the learned techniques.

Fibre cement double curvature modules can be as­sembled into building elements forming walls, furniture or landscape elements. The double curvature of the shells gives them structural integrity making them self support­ed and practical to be applied as temporary elements or as a permanent devices, their modularity allows them to be used independently or in groups. Each individual module is defined by curves drawn on each face of a cube. The curves define a template that becomes the formwork where a surface is stretched and the shell cast in fibrocement. By applying this system it is possible to vary the functions within a surface just by adjusting and controlling the re­lationships between the curves that define the individual modules. A continuous surface that can develop from be­ing a barrier to generate passages and light control with­out losing its expression and structural logic. What distinguishes this system from a conventional fence and what makes it variable is its depth. The foreground defines a clear structural line that forms openings and closures, but it is the relation between the foreground and the background line that controls its porosity.

For the installation at the AA dinning room a limit­ed set of five different templates was used to define sixty different shells. The combination of the templates follows a logic structural rule based on the forming of double cur­vature. The design decisions become limited in the overall form of the combination and the puzzle designs itself by following the basic rule. In terms of fabrication what is systematic is the compo­nents that generate each individual module and not the module itself. The external curves that define the dou­ble curvature within the cube are pre-defined and can be mass-produced. A set of templates that can be put togeth­er in different combinations according to the whole panel and generate individual parts that are different from each other. Within this system, software is capable of calculat­ing the necessary combination of curves if given a starting line path across the whole surface.

The project was developed as part of the Maeda workshop 2008.

The team:  Shin Egashira, Rubens Azevedo, Isabel Pietri, Bart Schoonderbeek, Jesse Sabatier, Jesse Randzio, Faraz Anoushahpour, Camille Steyaert, Tommy Gunawan, Alexander Laing, Mehran Gharleghi, Carlos Parraga, Jerome Tsui, Korey Kromm, Matthias Moroder, Benjamin TateIsabel.