Performative Concrete

During the peak of his career, Pier Luigi Nervi dazzled the world with his audacious expressions in the design of precast concrete that unified form, structure, and construction. Today, the ubiquity of BIM encourages an ever greater degree of integration across design and construction. How can we shape geometries by their structural performances? Using Millipede for Grasshopper and CNC fabrication, this project explores a new prototype that leverages finite element analysis into the geometric transformation of its precast structural components.

Program: structural research and prototype
Team: Innes Cheng, Mike Floryan, Vincent Mai
Role: computational design, fabrication. visualization
Location: Eugene, OR, USA
Date: 2015

two-way, continuously supported,
shell prototype

An interior characterized by expressions of precast components and daylighting patterns.

design parameterization
load analysis

mapping finite element analysis to material distribution

material assembly

mold production using CNC routing

applying lubrication for mortar release

pouring mortar between the top and bottom molds

two previously failed attempt at pouring into the mold

final prototype mock-up and exhibition