Gramazio Kohler, a Zurich-based analytical firm, unveiled a sculptural clay rotunda as part of a new robotic space-creating process. The musiclab SE, a hi-fi music zone created within the recently restored gurten alembic in Bern, Switzerland, has completed the free-standing circular land-based construction.

The project combines computational design techniques, sustainable clay and no waste. With only 15 centimeters of unreinforced clay, the roundabout has a circumference of more than 11 meters and a height of more than 5 meters. Over the course of 50 days, a mobile robotic system built the project on site, accumulating more than 30,000 soft clay bricks.

The kohler gramazio analysis constructs your clay roundabout as a very slender surface potentially created by its wavy design. The arched arrangement allows a redoubled footprint and a stable structure, avoiding buckling. The pure mathematics of this shell is controlled by a procedural model that takes into account the structural models of the engineers, the tissue properties of the clay, and therefore the sequence of the construction process.

The team notes that the restricted reach of the robotic arm and the shrinkage of the material as it dries have devised advanced methods for segmenting the wrap into matching trapezoids.

Critical to structural performance, Kohler’s grammage analysis creates an incredibly optimal material system for your clay roundabout. To discover the simplest balance of plasticity and compressive strength while reducing material shrinkage

the developed clay combination is extruded into “soft bricks”, or cylinders with a diameter of 3.5 inches and a height of half a dozen inches, which are grasped by the robotic arm from a station of choice, oriented exactly and pressed consecutively in their final position, compressed to 60% of their original height.

Clay bricks are compressed, resulting in a smooth bond that represents both the plasticity of the material and the dynamic stresses of the manufacturing process. The on-site manufacturer, a bespoke robot developed by gramazio kohler research, was relocated for each segment to accommodate the entire size of the structure.

This movement of the robot, as well as the contraction of the new material, required capturing the built geometry by 3D scanning on a frequent basis. Unavoidable fractures emerged as a result of the drying process, which were carefully monitored and filled with the same clay mixture on a regular basis.

Kohler Grammazio’s analysis addresses the urgent requirement to minimize material use with its clay roundabout. Additionally, the team emphasizes the need to reuse emission-free materials in construction. The robotic clay aggregation technique combines traditional clay construction data with modern digital production methods and aesthetics.

The greater control of each material and process allows the creation of structures that go beyond what was previously feasible. Finally, because the clay mixture used can be completely broken and reused, the creations of the material leave no residue. Nature can recover what has been removed from it.

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