Final Assignment: Catenary vault

For my final project, I wanted to work with textiles and gravity, inspired by Gaudi’s studies of self-supporting pillars and vaults. I would like to learn more about catenary – the physical term for the idealized curve, and how it can be used for making vaults. I believe that it now is possible to again use curved vaults in architecture, which have not been so popular for quite some time.

I wanted to make a self-supporting vault, casted upside down. The idea was that by hanging the fabric mould – the concrete would move into the most ideal curve for the vault, and as such be self-supporting. The process is described below:process.jpg

For my prototype I simple stapled two pieces of stretchy jersey fabric together and let them hang, filled with concrete. It seemed to work very well, but the casting had not fully dried in the right picture, so the fabric was not removed.

For the final product a template was made and the jersey fabric cut accordingly. The mould was hanged from each corner of the box and then filled with concrete. By now, I realized that the final product would not be rounded, rather more rectangular. The concrete mixture followed the give recipe for fabric casting, but extra water was added to make the mixture more fluid to fit into the mould.

After three days, the casting was removed from the box. When turned upside-down the casting could luckily support itself. However, it seems as if the casting has broken in the top – where the strain on the mould was the highest and the hole on top was the biggest. As such, the casting is probably in two pieces. Furthermore, it seems as if the concrete has not yet dried as a thin layer of concrete follows when pulling off the fabric. Perhaps in a few days the fabric can be more easily removed.

final product finished

The final product looks good (although with the fabric still on) and is self-supporting. The breaking is most likely due to the fabric mould that probably was too thin in the lowest-hanging parts. The size of the hole on top also plays a big part in the breakage. Had the hole been smaller the breakage might not have occurred. Also – the two pieces of fabric should probably not have been exactly the same size. Rather, the lowest hanging piece should have been larger and as such allow for more concrete further down – strengthening the casting. Perhaps the lower hanging textile could have been a stretchy jersey and the top fabric a more sturdy woven fabric.

Summary:
Prototype:
casting worked well – had not dried when casting finished product

Finished casting:
Fabric mould had too big of a hole – should be decreased
Mixture had extra water to increase fluidity

Finished casting has not dried – fabric cannot be removed yet
Finished casting has probably broken in two pieces
Structure is self-supporting (yay!)

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Final Assignment, balloon blobs

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I wanted to investigate in how concrete would act when being restrained by a flexible material (a balloon). By adding several balloons together inside a rigid form, they would also take shape by each other and the external shape. Like a specific brick-system, where they only can be placed in one specific way but then be perfect.

In the first stage i investigated how to cast into balloons and how the result would be. By using a funnel and making a more liquid mix (I used the mix of the flexible formwork but added water), the concrete easily flew into the balloons. By adding an extra tension to the shapes, with the string, the shapes became more interesting!

Before casting into the balloons, the rubber had to be stretched out, to maximise the amount that fits into them. So I simply blew them up for a few minutes before casting. I then started to fill the external wooden frame with the concrete filled ballons. To some I added rubberbands, to others I did nothing, and a few of the balloons where also heart-shaped which by themselves created interesting shapes!

When the box was filled and dried, this was how they look, the tob being more 3dimentional and the bottom more restricted:

And when stripping them of the ballons and then returning them to the shape, this is how they looked (because a lot of water was added, it created a layer on top where only water and a little bit of sand and concrete gathered, and cracked):

FullSizeRender 5

final assignment: contrast bowl

finale

For my final assignment I wanted to do something which could have some function afterwards. So I decided to make an easy form which then can be used as a small bowl to store stuff.

My aim was to create an interesting form with a high contrast between inside and outside.

I also aimed to use as different techniques we learned during this seminar, which included fabric formwork and formless cast for this project.

On the first try I built a frame and attached fabric to it, to pour concrete inside.
This concave form I used as a negativ for the bowl. I covered it with palstic to keep water from it and attached fabric again, so the texture would be visible inside of the bowl.

For the outside I wanted – in contrast to the inside – have a texture as ruff as possible.
So I decided to take concrete with a high amount of sand. I then added more water to make it liquid enough to proceed over the form by itself. I tried to add the concrete step by step to create layers.

It was quite hard to strip the formwork as it was both concrete, that´s why part if it broke.

For the second attempt I decided to higher the contrast between inside and outside. Especially the inside I wanted to have finer and more detailed. I went for a volume of two geometrics, a circle and a square, joined by a plastic foil. From previos tests I knew that the foil would create a shiny flat surface, but as it is soft, it also acts similar to fabric in its form.

elephant skin

The aim was to create a fine concrete texture, looking like skin.

First the fine aggregate was poured into a frame. A layer of crinkled paper was put on top, and then the cast was filled with the coarse aggregate and filled up with the mix of cement and water.

unfortunately the concrete didn´t went all through the aggregate, so only parts of it came out with the skin-texture.

 

Probabely the mix was not liquid enough, or not shaked enough so it could reach the bottom of the course aggregate.

Final assignment

For my final assignment I wanted to cast a wall with possible places for mos to grow. By studying the growth of the mos on rocks I found out that the mos needed a concave place with a coarser structure. As I wanted the wall to be smooth I had to make inward curved areas with a more rough structure.

I used the casting technique of prepacked aggregate casting. Prepared with a flat box with thick paper forms witch I filled to half with sand and the other half with 4 mm aggregate. Then I casted with a cement slurry (1 part cement 3/4 parts water). After 30 minutes I took out the paper forms.

mos
Mos is growing!

Assignment 04 Fabric Cast

 

IMG_2273

 

Our group chose the topics hydrostatic pressure and mixed material.

Hydrostatic pressure
We built a mold of mdf board to which we attached a piece of stretchy fabric, and on top of that a piece of knitted fabric. We poured/stuffed the concrete mix into the mold so that the gravity would shape the finished model.
The pattern showed, but not as much as we expected. We didn’t find the perfect balance between the hydrostatic pressure and the stretchiness of the textile.
Mixed material
For the mixed material assignment, we attached a less stretchy textile between two wooden boards. Underneath these were attached wooden sticks to fix the concrete in the desires size. Our purpose was to stitch the finished piece of concrete to two pieces of wood. To make holes in the concrete we fixed shorter wooden sticks with duck tape, as shown in the picture, and then poured the concrete into the mold. When the concrete was cured we stitched the finished piece together.
Both the fabric and the wooden sticks were easy to remove.

fabric cast – gravity and different stretch

gravity:

we poured concrete into fabric which we attached to a wooden frame. Before that we hung up two weights on the fabric. The idea was that we now have to gravity-components influencing the cast: the weights and the concrete itself.

 

different stretch:

We attached concrete on a wooden tile in to create some kind of pocket. After poring the concrete in we took a small rope and wrapped it around the pillow so it would be squeezed.