Cast Thicket is the winning proposal designed by yo-cy for an advanced structures competition run by the University of Texas. It is a study in tensile concrete. The aim was to make a heavy material look lacy, thin and delicate, so inverting the perception of concrete as a carved monolith.
The structure for the formwork was created using steel nodes connected by 44 thin struts. Wrapped around this is a skin that will retain the concrete until it cures. It is made from a plastic film, tied together using plastic cable ties. It will deform under load giving a rippled texture to the concrete something like a fabric form-work. The struts remain to become the reinforcement.
The concrete itself is an interesting mixture. The designers wanted a light colour and a lightweight structure. They used light colour aggregates, including limestone powder with white fibre reinforcement. Poraver glass beads were also used to reduce weight with metakaolin, a material used to make porcelain. A super-plasticiser was used to help the mixture flow by reducing its viscosity.
The experiment explores the application of advanced CAD modelling techniques and their application in fabrication.
Gratitude to AN blog.