construction robot builds 'rock print pavilion' using loose stones and string

construction robot builds 'rock print pavilion' using loose stones and string

a construction robot in switzerland has created a temporary pavilion using nothing more than loose stones and string. the structure, which is supported by a series of stable columns, is being presented by resear­chers at ETH zurich as part of an exhibition in the swiss city of winterthur. the scheme comprises 30 tonnes (30 tons) of loose stones, which the robot has bound together using 120 kilometers (75 miles) of string.

ETH zurich rock print pavilion
the construction robot worked for a total of four weeks to build the columns
image © gramazio kohler research, ETH zürich | main image © michael lio



the ‘rock print pavilion’ is part of an exhibition titled ‘hello, robot. design between human and machine’, currently on view at winterthur’s gewerbemuseum. the construction robot, known as the ‘in situ fabricator’, worked for a total of four weeks to build 11 three-meter-high (10 ft) pillars. to support the pavilion’s eight-tonne (8.8 ton) steel roof, ETH zurich’s researchers implemented a technique known as ‘jamming’.

ETH zurich rock print pavilion
the pavilion has been built using nothing more than loose stones and string
image © keystone / christian beutler



the ETH research project ‘design and robotic fabrication of jammed architectural structures’ focuses on the robot-based assembly of simple, loose, and granular base materials. when combined with the arrangement of string between the gravel layers — which is continuously calculated by the robot — the stones interlock together. this creates a stable, highly durable structure. recycling is also embedded into the project as the components can be easily dismantled and the material reused.

ETH zurich rock print pavilion
the pillars measure 3 meters, or 10 feet, in height
image © michael lio

ETH zurich rock print pavilion
the pavilion’s roof weighs 8 tonnes
image © michael lio

ETH zurich rock print pavilion
120 kilometers (75 miles) of string have been used to bind the stones together
image © gramazio kohler research, ETH zürich

  • Was it four weeks because he had to load 8T of stone with a bucket …climbing the ladder? Is the dribble at the base where the string did not work? Many questions…


    JimCan says:

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