Restrictions and possibilities of the system

I have sought to investigate the possibilities of creating to a double-sided vertical casting system that incorporates some sort of flexibility. I have throughout my experiments worked with deformation and addition as the means of manipulation. At this point I’m working with a system that combines the semi-flexible surface with a jumping formwork system. There are of course endless ways of incorporating flexibility to a vertical casting system. My physical experiments have only touched a small corner of the field. An investigation of the proposed flexible jumping formwork has uncovered both potentials and some limitations. These are the parameters that define my architectural design conditions.

A limitation of the casting technique is that it is next to impossible to cast anything besides than vertical. The cast has to be between 60 – 120 degrees on the foundation otherwise it becomes too difficult to fill the mould. This limits the casted structure to be a wall-like, horizontal oriented structure.

The formwork is quite flexible, especially in the longitudinal direction one has almost unlimited shaping possibilities. The vertical deformation raises a geometrical specified issue. When the formwork is curved in a vertical direction, the structure is not able to hold a straight bottom edge. This issue arises because of the difference in curvature two surface areas. As this is a rule of geometry, I see no way of ‘solving’ this problem without taking a change of direction of my investigation. Instead I would like to work with this issue as a designing factor: For instance the foundation and plan design of the structure determine how much the structure is allowed to deflect in the sections. This would create a sort of essential cross-reference between the horizontal plan design and the vertical sections of the structure. The proposal of using the substrate or foundation as a designing factor generates a whole new and more site-specific perspective to the forthcoming experiments.

When casting a double-sided structure, the sides can be held parallel to secure an even thickness of the structure. This however consequence a problem when trying too obtain a steep curvature. By allowing nonparallel sides, you are able to cast a more kinked geometry. This ability to create different thicknesses within the same structure can be exploited to generate an optimized construction or achieve a specific architectural design intent.

The manipulation of the form is quite a complex matter as the triangles and thereby the geometry all is interdependent. Once a bend is employed the rest of the geometry are forced to follow. E.g. If the corners of two triangles a pinched together, the in between edge will kink out. Actually the same form can be achieved in various ways. In my identification of the forces in play, it is understood that most form-scenarios are attained by employing a combination of the forces.

As the formwork is an insitu-system, it is possible to use the surroundings and terrain to obtain the desired shape. As mentioned the terrain can employ an upward force by lifting the bottom edge, forcing the sides to curve or kink. However it is also possible to use the clamps of the formwork as anchor-points. By tying together two anchor-points, you are able to control the in-between geometry.

The length of the wire controls the thickness of the structure.

The wire is also used to hold the formwork together and clamping the jump-form to the existing cast.

I have been able to develop a grasshopper script that allows me to predict and evaluate different curves. This script can be used in both plan and section to envisage the faceted surface. The script subdivides a curve into a facets defined by a variable geometry. This allows me plan out the composition and choose the ideal geometry for the structure.


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