Concrete Choreography

ETH Zurich has unveiled details of “Concrete Choreography,” an installation inaugurated in Riom, Switzerland. The installation presents the first robotically 3D printed concrete stage, consisting of columns fabricated without formwork, and printed to their full height in 2.5 hours.

The process is expected to greatly improve the efficiency of concrete construction while achieving the fabrication of complex components. In collaboration with the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland, the installation features nine 2.7-meter-tall columns, individually designed with custom software and fabricated with a new robotic 3D printing process developed by ETH Zurich with the support of NCCR DFAB.

Students at ETH Zurich’s Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture explored the unique possibilities of the technique, known as layered extrusion printing, to demonstrate the potential of computational design and digital fabrication for the concrete construction industry, a process which currently emits tremendous environmental damage.

The hollow concrete structures are printed to allow materials to be strategically used, allowing for a more sustainable approach to concrete architecture. In addition, the computationally-designed material ornament and surface texture exemplify the versatility and significant aesthetic potential 3D concrete printing holds when used in large scale structures.