Structural Designer

Block Research Group (BRG), ETH Zurich

Client Name

Museo Universitario Arte Contempor√°neo


Mexico City, Mexico

Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex) - construction & BRG - fabrication formwork

BRG (structural design) & Zaha Hadid Architects ZHCODE (patterns)

Holcim Mexico Images: © Mariana Popescu (1,2 + 3); Maria Verhulst; ETH Zurich


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.

Judge's comment:

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.

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 4535
Email: [email protected]

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