Wednesday, 14 November 2007

a few words from our sponsor...

Yesterday afternoon we had a meeting at the offices of Zaha Hadid Architects (pavilion sponsor), with event organizers Patrik Schumacher (ZHA/AADRL) & Yosuke Obuchi (AADRL), structural engineers Hanif Kara, Oliver Bruckermann, & Jugatx Ansotegui (AKT), & our material sponsor Wolfgang Rieder (Rieder Co.).

We learned quite alot from Wolfgang regarding the possiblities of Fibre-C as a material, and he has generously committed his staff to helping us develop the design. The enthusiasm and insight of everyone involved has been fantastic.

We wiill post more results from the meeting soon, as we will be producing a series of 1:1 mockups of joint options for structural testing (AKT), a 1:1 plywood mock-up to test fitting of panels (AADRL), and a 1:1 Fibre-C mockup for fitting and assembly tests (Rieder Co.).

In the meantime here's some info and images documenting the process of fabrication for Fibre-C panels, sent over this morning by Maria at Rieder.

" fibreC, which is also known as “concrete skin” and has won international architectural awards - is a concrete panel reinforced with glass- fibres which combines the advantages of concrete and glassfibres in one product: it is as solid, moldable and durable as concrete, but thanks to the glassfibres also thin-walled, fireproof and light-weight. Like a skin of concrete, it allows the construction of slim elements with a tensile strength. The extremely thin concrete slabs contribute to the new language of shapes."

"The high consistence of fibreC results from the reinforced glassfibres."

"A special extrusion process incorporates layers of glassfibre into a concrete matrix; in the top layer and underlayer the fibres are undirected and scattered, in the medium layer they take the form of roofings (fibre bundles). The omission of steel reinforcement allows the construction of “slim” concrete elements which are highly stressable despite being extremely thin-walled. The result is an extremely thin slab with 0.31“ to 0.39“ thickness, which is very light-weight, yet has a high flexural strength. The slabs can be dyed in different colors before being hardened for 28 days."

"By using genuine natural stone with iron-oxide pigments, our products resemble natural colors to the smallest detail; the result is “technological marble“ without coating. The process using iron oxide pigments fulfills our sustainability requirement. The authentic colors of concrete skin blend perfectly into the existing landscape and communicate with nature and the environment. One of the most fascinating colors is “liquide black“, a deep rich black produced with unique copper stone, where genuine oxidized copper dots sometimes gleam through the surface."

Profiles will be cut by CNC water-jet machines from standard 3.6m x 1.2m fibre-C panels.

We have also gone ahead and specified a color for our sheets...we are using the Ivory color with a Ferro (sanblasted) finish, as highlighted above. We wanted to use the rough finish as it truly expresses itself as concrete. The rough finish will also help us by providing friction at the joints. The polished finish is really nice, but comes across as a solid surface application (i.e. corian). There will be slight variations in the colors of individual panels as they all cure differently:

"Vivid structures with an interplay of changing color shades and somecloud effects, rather than dead and clinical surfaces, are characteristicof fibreC. Differences attract and are understood as what they are– a typical characteristic of a natural building material."

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