In China, an Experimental Pavilion of Ceramic Bricks Fuses Craftsmanship and Digital Fabrication

In China, an Experimental Pavilion of Ceramic Bricks Fuses Craftsmanship and Digital Fabrication

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In China, an Experimental Pavilion of Ceramic Bricks Fuses Craftsmanship and Digital Fabrication, © Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange

Uniting the material intelligence of vernacular crafts with the precision and flexibility provided by the new digital design and manufacturing technologies, the Robotic Fabrication LAB of The Faculty of Architecture of HKU has developed the CeramicINformation Pavilion, with the objective of finding suitable levels of automation to be used for emerging and transitioning economies. 

Part of an evolving series, each of its 1,000 components is unique and relates specifically to its neighboring units. The elements are constructed through 3D printing and are made of terracotta brick, a material commonly used in modern Chinese construction.

© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange + 36

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Diagram Diagram

In terms of digital design, approximately 1.5 million lines of code were generated, with each brick containing an average of 1,400 individual target-points. Despite this apparent complexity, the accuracy and clarity of the technology allowed its construction to be carried out in 20 days by unskilled labor, even without traditional architectural plans or details.

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Diagram Diagram

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© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange

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© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange

According to the design team, “the project not only highlights the new possibilities for architectural expression, but also the capacity these systems have to change the way in which we fashion the built environment.”

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© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange

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© Christian J. Lange © Christian J. Lange

The project has been exhibited at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen, China.

Institution: Robotic Fabrication LAB, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Completion Year: 2017
Built Area: 3 sqm
Location: No. 82 East Zhongshan Street, Wanli Industrial Zone, Nantou Old Town, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
Project Leaders: Christian J. Lange, Donn Holohan
Research Assistants: Mono Tung, Kristy Chow, Pamela Maguigad
Funding: UABB Shenzhen
Photography: Christian J. Lange

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