Block Research Group (BRG), ETH Zurich
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo
Mexico City, Mexico
A thin, sinuous concrete waffle shell structure built on an ultra-lightweight knitted formwork. The project utilised state-of-the-art BIM technology, and demonstrates the potential to reduce material, labour, and construction waste.
KnitCandela is a fantastic technical study and homage to Felix Candela. Using a knitted fabric and a cable net, tensioned in an anticlastic surface, creates a permanent formwork for a thin fibre-reinforced cement shell.
Inflated balloons are used within pockets in the fabric to help stiffen the shell.
The whole piece is brilliantly realised with the fabric left in place as a decorative skin, presenting a glimpse of future possibilities with this emerging computational technology.
The form of the piece achieved by this process raises this project above just a technical study, and creates an object to draw in and beguile the observer as they seek to understand the structure.