a man walking up stairs onto a concrete footbridge bridge, striatus

Zaha Hadid Architects and Block Research Group unveil a swooping 3D-printed concrete bridge in Venice

A freestanding, unreinforced pedestrian bridge built from 53 3D-printed concrete blocks is now open for leisurely foot traffic in Venice. Although Striatus doesn’t carry pedestrians over one of the city’s famed canals, this first-of-its-kind structure is now open for park-bound traversing at the leafy Giardino della Marinaressa during the run of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. The roughly 40-by-52-foot arched footbridge was

Rendering of a swinging concrete walls at AquíAquí in el paso

Matter Design envisions a configurable concrete gathering place at the El Paso border

AquíAquí, the latest collaboration between Cambridge’s Matter Design and multinational CEMEX Global R&D (a frequent partner in realizing the firm’s monumental and kinetic concrete designs) is a speculative community gathering space along the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez border intending to bridge both cities. In AquíAquí (Here Here), Matter Design has envisioned an outdoor “community center” for Parque

Children playing with a concrete obelisk and red beams

Matter Design parlays its concrete research into a Pennsylvania play-lab

Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Matter Design has unveiled its latest concrete collaboration, an outdoor “play-lab” at the Grayson School in Radnor, Pennsylvania, that balances hulking cast concrete forms with mix-and-match freestyle play. Explorations into play have always found their way into Matter Design’s projects, whether it be in the rollicking performances of Janus, or the rollable Walking

A person on a space station manipulating material inside a plastic apparatus to make concrete.

Scientists are studying concrete production in space

Can you build with concrete in space? That is the question NASA and Pennsylvania State University researchers have been trying to get the answer to in their Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS) study. If humanity has any future on the moon or Mars, we’ll need shelter—not from rain or snow, but cosmic radiation and

Swiss researchers develop high-tech floor that minimizes concrete use

Global construction continues to steam ahead, even while seemingly mundane building materials (like sand) become rarer and more precious, and construction industry’s carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global climate change. The building industry seems to be demanding new solutions, but scalable alternatives remain scarce. Enter the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich. The group, which is

Bendable concrete could make infrastructure safer—and cheaper

Bendable concrete is one step closer to hitting the market. Bendable concrete or Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) were originally developed in the 1990s by Victor C. Li at the University of Michigan, whose research was in part inspired by how animals like abalone produce the inner nacre of their shells. However, cost, supply chain concerns,

Flexible 3-D-printed cement stretches the possibilities of concrete

Concrete is a ubiquitous building material, applied to the bulk of contemporary construction projects. While the sedimentary aggregate is commonly used due to its impressive compressive strength, it remains a brittle material subject to damage or failure during extreme environmental events such as earthquakes. In response to this inherent weakness, a team of researchers based out

A Danish consortium is advancing the possibilities of concrete formwork

In Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, a consortium of architects, engineers, and manufacturers are advancing the capabilities of concrete construction formwork and advanced design. This effort culminated in a recently unveiled 19-ton prototype dubbed Experiment R. The project, led by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Odico Formwork Robotics, Aarhus Tech, concrete manufacturer Hi-Con, and Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers, tackles the waste associated with

Zaha Hadid Architects and ETH Zurich team up to build a knitted formwork concrete pavilion

Located in Mexico City’s Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, KnitCandela is a 13-foot-tall curved concrete shell formed with a 3-D-knitted framework. The sculptural project is a collaboration between Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computation and Design Group (ZHCODE), ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group (BRG) led by Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele with PhD student Mariana Popescu, and Mexico’s Architecture Extrapolated who managed the on-site execution