Precast Concrete Enclosures
Comprehensive Studio, Spring 2022
In contemporary construction practice, building enclosures are sophisticated assemblies conceived through complex processes that merge design, science, technology and craft. The outermost layer of the exterior wall is the most exposed to natural forces and therefore it needs careful attention, as it must work effectively over the lifetime of the building.
The primary goal of this semester-long fabrication seminar is the design and construction of full-scale precast concrete prototypes as performative components of building envelopes. The course is taught in partnership with Gate Precast, a leader company in the precast concrete industry and supported by a grant from the PCI Foundation to offset fabrication costs of the mockups. This is an opportunity for hands-on experience in which students are able to experience the entire design-build process. After conducting research and analyzing historic and contemporary building precedents, students advance conceptual ideas through drawings and study models, followed by a precise documentation of the panel and molds. During the second phase of the course, students participate in the mold fabrication process at school using a combination of digital fabrication tools and analog methods of construction. Once the molds are finalized, they are transported to Gate’s architectural precast plant in Ashland City, TN for reinforcing, concrete cast, demolding and finishing process of the final panels.
Team 1: Hantak, Zachary, Murray, Patrick, Strong, Sydnee, Whittington, Grace
Team 2: Jiang, Shaoshuai, Madary, Jake, Tolera, Qananii, Zhou, Peter
Team 3: Ebbers, Zachary, Hatheway, Patrick, Lin, Min
Team 4: Hu, Xiaofan, Lee, Jae Gwan