presented by ETH zurich at the 15th international architecture exhibition, ‘beyond bending’ is an installation conceived by block research group (prof. philippe block and tom van mele) that forms part of the biennale’s main exhibition at the arsenale.
The various elements – four prototypes of vaulted floor systems, a series of graphical force diagrams, and an expansive stone vault – demonstrate how architecture can learn from the building techniques of the past. the work asserts that aesthetics and the efficient use of resources are not mutually exclusive. through the use of novel structural design approaches and digital fabrication methods, excess steel has been eliminated, allowing more humble materials — such as earth and stone — to take precedence.
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