A double-curved concrete shell made with a 3D-knitted formwork in a collaboration between Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich has gone on display in Mexico City.
KnitCret is a new 3D-knitted textile system for creating curving concrete structures, without the need for expensive and time-consuming moulds.
The colourful pavilion is called KnitCandela in homage to the work of Spanish-Mexican architect and engineer Félix Candela, who created dramatic curved concrete shells in his buildings such as the Los Manantiales Restaurant in 1958.
Over two miles of yarn was knitted into four strips of between 15 and 26 metres in just 36 hours using a digital fabrication technique, then flown over from Switzerland to Mexico in suitcases.
Designed by the competition’s winner – WATG’s Chicago-based Urban Architecture Studio that includes Daniel Caven, Chris Hurst, Miguel Alvarez and Brent Watanabe, this 800-square-foot single-family home will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
According to Branch Technology Founder, Platt Boyd, “Curve Appeal is a very thoughtful approach to the design of our first house. It responds well to the site conditions, magnifies the possibilities of cellular fabrication and pushes the envelope of what is possible while still utilizing more economical methods for conventional building systems integration.”
The design of the house consists of two main components: an interior core and exterior skin. The open and light filled interior living spaces protect occupants from the elements via passive strategies while connecting them to the exterior spaces and nature itself. The exterior skin is derived from simple yet careful calculated archways that ultimately blends with the site leaving an organic presence.