Iwan Baan

There’s no mortar to speak of in the Armadillo Vault, an installation on display at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale designed by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich, in Germany. Instead, compression does the work of holding together the 24 tons of limestone—399 blocks in all—as the structure snakes around the columns of the 13th-cenutry Corderie dell’Arsenale building in which it is housed. The conjoined arches were created using a software program developed by the group called RhinoVAULT, which aims to help architects better manage tension and compression in their 3D models. The design team wanted to redistribute the forces to limit the project’s footprint, resulting in its sinuous form. “Walking inside, visitors can look up and see the forces acting on the blocks etched into the ceiling, a visual representation of the physics that the Armadillo Vault relies on and proof that the flowing, sinuous forms of buildings from architects like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry don’t need complex steel substructures,” writes journalist Liz Stinson for Wired.

Read the full story at Wired.

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