The concept behind the worldwide Open House events is simple, but powerful: under the motto “architecture for all”, different interesting buildings in a city open their doors during two days to the interested public. The last weekend of September, researchers of the NCCR Digital Fabrication participated to the second edition of Open House Zurich and provided people insight into their research and the facilities in ETH Zurich’s Arch_Tec_Lab building.

The second edition of Open House Zurich was very well received. More than 80 organisation in and around Zurich welcomed visitors in their buildings and informed them about the architectural concept and ongoing activities within the buildings. One of the featured buildings was the Arch_Tec_Lab building which is home to the Institute of Technology in Architecture of ETH Zurich (ITA) and the NCCR Digital Fabrication.

Exclusive insight into the world’s biggest architectural robotic laboratory
More than 300 people used the opportunity to visit the Arch_Tec_Lab building on the Hönggerberg Campus of ETH Zurich, which demonstrates how digitalisation can contribute to resource-efficient, compact and emissions-free construction. Visitors visibly enjoyed the open and warm atmosphere of the building, which was jointly designed, planned, and built by six professors at the ITA. Guided by the architect of the building and by trained volunteers, visitors received first hand information about the digital planning and construction process of the unique building.

Special NCCR tours about ongoing research in digital fabrication in architecture
A clear highlight of the weekend were the specially themed tours offered by researchers of the NCCR Digital Fabrication and the ITA. As part of this tours, visitors learned about the digital fabrication of the timber roof of the Arch_Tec_Lab and received insight into two NCCR projects: Mesh Mould, a novel building technology for the formwork-free construction of steel-reinforced concrete structures, and the NCCR associated Spatial Timber Assemblies project, a multi-robotic process for the bespoke fabrication of timber modules. Visitors were particularly impressed by the robotic live demo of the timber project in the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory of the Arch_Tec_Lab, the currently biggest robotics lab in the field of architecture.

The NCCR Digital Fabrication is already looking forward to showing people its research progress during one of the future Open House Zurich editions.