Congratulations to the Block Research Group, the Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials (Flatt group) and Zaha Hadid Architects on winning the people’s choice in the category “Best in Temporary and Experiential Installations” in the AZURE Magazine AZ Awards for their project, KnitCandela.

The structure was completed in October 2018 as part of a wider exhibition in Mexico City. The structure is an homage to Spanish-Mexican architect Felix Candela (1910–1997) and a collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group (ZHCODE), and Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex).

Following a digitally generated pattern, an industrial knitting machine produced the shuttering of the formwork for the shell structure: in 36 hours, it knitted a fully shaped, double-layered 3D textile consisting of four long strips. The lower layer forms the visible ceiling – a designed surface with a colourful pattern. The upper layer contains sleeves for the cables of the formwork system and pockets for simple balloons, which, after the entire structure is coated in concrete, become hollow spaces that help save on materials and on weight. Manufacturing a formwork for such a geometrically complex structure using conventional methods would cost substantially more in both time and material.

Read more about KnitCandela in ETH Zurich’s Press Release.

See all the winners in the AZ Awards.

Photo: Mariana Popescu