Monday, June 14, 2010

Grompies - lycra and plaster

Here's another student project in which flexible membranes are used as formwork for a pour. I picked it up while browsing the Dezeen Blog.

The project is called Grompies and is done by Brendon Carlin and fellow students at the Architectural Association Design Research Laboratory. The structure is stitched and suspended lycra filled with plaster.

[Image of Grompies by students at AA, image from] writes: "With due recognition to the work of Antonio Gaudi, Frei Otto and Felix Candela, among others. A virtual pattern is generated on the computer through behavioral rule sets which play out with no finite time limits. A moment is observed in the looping of those behaviors in virtual space, and captured. The resulting pattern is translated by hand and sewing machine into a stitched pattern on lycra by printing and tracing its form. The stitched sheets of lycra are fixed to wooden frames constructed of scrap material. A plaster, water mix is poured into the tightly stitched lycra pattern and left to set."

[Image of Grompies by students at AA, image from]

[Image of Grompies by students at AA, image from]

As the image above shows the Grompies aren't large. The intricacy of the stitched and suspended plaster structures do make them an interesting addition to the concrete discourse of fabric forming and structural and formal investigations using catenary curves in general.

- The whole digital aspect is another most relevant matter in which the computer generated and simulated designs meet physical realities during the pour and relationships between material properties are explored as well. Read more about explorations of material relations in a post here.

FattyShell - concrete coral in flexible formwork

Before I forget - here's a link to a post on Dezeen Blog about  a concrete structure cast in flexible formwork that resembles the porous, organic structure of a coral reef.

[Image of FattyShell (v.01) by Kyle Sturgeon, Chris Holzwart and Kelly Raczkowski, image from]

The project is by Masters of Architecture students at the University of Michigan.

The work is great - so little formwork material for such a complex and light weight structure. The students cast in a rubber membrane cnc cut and stitched together. I'm pretty sure that they could have cast in several fabrics had they chosen to. the elasticity of rubber might have intreagued the team or maybe the choice of material was caused by limits of the cnc cutter?

[Image of FattyShell (v.01) under construction, image from]

[Image of FattyShell (v.01) under construction, image from]

The blog post informs us: "Fiber reinforced high cement based concrete is prepared in 12 batches at 265 lbs (3,200 lbs at completion). lifts occur at 3 hour intervals. At each lift, concrete is sculpted, transferred, or blocked from its gravitational destination in order to reinforce weaker moments in the shell’s composition.

[Image of FattyShell (v.01) with the formwork partly off, image from]