Concrete Choreography

Concrete Choreography

The installation Concrete Choreography presents the first robotically 3D printed concrete stage, consisting of columns fabricated without formwork and printed in full height within 2.5 hours. Robotic concrete printing allows customised fabrication of complex components that uses concrete more efficiently.

In collaboration with the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland, the installation consists of 9, 2.7m columns, individually designed with custom software and fabricated with a new robotic concrete 3D printing process developed at ETH Zurich. Students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture explore the unique possibilities of 3D printing with an age-old material, demonstrating the potential of computational design and digital fabrication for future construction.

This novel fabrication process allows the production of concrete elements without the need for any formwork. In addition, one-of-a-kind designs with complex geometries can be fabricated in a fully automated manner. Hollow concrete structures are printed in a way where the material can be strategically used only where needed, allowing a more sustainable approach to concrete architecture.

Computationally designed material ornament and surface texture exemplify the versatility and significant aesthetic potential of 3D concrete printing when used in large-scale structures.

Framing and informing the dance performances of the summer season in Riom, the project demonstrates how technological advancements can bring efficient and novel expressions to concrete architecture.

One column in numbers:
Column Height: 2.70 m
Print-path length: 1600 m
Print-time: 2.5 h
Print-speed: 180 mm/sec
Layer width: 25 mm
Layer height: 5 mm

Project Credits
Digital Building Technologies, ETH Zurich Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger
MAS DFAB in Architecture and Digital Fabrication | ETH Zurich
Teaching Team Ana Anton, Patrick Bedarf, Angela Yoo (Digital Building Technologies), Timothy Wangler (Physical Chemistry of Building Materials)
Students Antonio Barney, Aya Shaker Ali, Chaoyu Du, Eleni Skevaki, Jonas Van den Bulcke, Keerthana Udaykumar, Nicolas Feihl, Nik Eftekhar Olivo, Noor Khader, Rahul Girish, Sofia Michopoulou, Ying-Shiuan Chen, Yoana Taseva, Yuta Akizuki, Wenqian Yang
Origen Foundation Giovanni Netzer, Irene Gazzillo, Guido Luzio, Flavia Kistler
Research Partners Prof. Robert J. Flatt, Lex Reiter, Timothy Wangler (Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, ETH Zurich)
Technical Support Michael Lyrenmann, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser, Heinz Richner
Supported by Debrunner Acifer Bewehrungen AG, LafargeHolcim, Elotex, Imerys Aluminates

The concrete Choreography project was recently featured on SRF’s Kulturplatz programme, and you can catch up with it online (in German). The project is also featured in Zurich’s Museum für Gestaltung as part of the Designlabor: Material und Technik exhibition.

Photo: Benjamin Hofer

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