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Why Wolf Prix Is Pushing For New Methods of Robotic Construction

09:30 - 16 August, 2016
Why Wolf Prix Is Pushing For New Methods of Robotic Construction, View of "The Cloud" inside the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au
View of "The Cloud" inside the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Wolf Prix on Robotic Construction and the Safe Side of Adventurous Architecture."

In response to a conservative and sometimes fragmented building industry, some architects believe that improving and automating the construction process calls for a two-front war: first, using experimental materials and components, and second, assembling them in experimental ways. Extra-innovative examples include self-directed insect-like robots that huddle together to form the shape of a building and materials that snap into place in response to temperature or kinetic energy.

The automation battle has already been fought (and won) in other industries. With whirring gears and hissing pneumatics, rows and rows of Ford-ist mechanical robot arms make cars, aircraft, and submarines in a cascade of soldering sparks. So why shouldn’t robotic construction become commonplace for buildings, too?

Video: Musée des Confluences / Coop Himmelb(l)au

14:00 - 21 December, 2015

"If you only think in architectural terms, only architecture will come out." - Wolf Prix

Inspired by space suits, Formula One circuits, and many other "mind expanding machines," Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au explains the thought process that went behind their design of the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France. With spiraling ramps and bridges throughout, the museum allows visitors to explore the space "freely," despite the constraints of gravity, and, in a sense, "conquer space." Read on for Spirit of Space's full interview with Prix. 

17 Napkin Sketches by Famous Architects

14:38 - 5 June, 2015
17 Napkin Sketches by Famous Architects, Wolf Prix. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego
Wolf Prix. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego

The napkin sketch has always had its place in architecture. Now, some of the world's more respected architects have donated their very own conceptual doodles to the NewSchool and San Diego American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) in an effort that helped raise thousands to fund scholarships and programs for architecture students. 

"The event was a big success,” said David Garcia, a NewSchool architecture undergraduate and fundraising chair for the AIAS event. “Personally, this project means a lot to me, and not just because of the time and involvement, but because this is a nice way to bring students and their favorite architects together, even if it's just through a sketch. Plus, since it's a fundraiser, the proceeds have been a great help to the success of the chapter.”

Take a look at all 17 napkin sketches from Bjarke Ingels, Wolf Prix, Thom Mayne, Robert Venturi, Zaha Hadid and others, after the break. 

Zaha Hadid. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Thom Mayne. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Kurt Hunker. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego Massimiliano Fuksas. Image Courtesy of NewSchool and AIAS San Diego +17

Video: House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au

12:35 - 2 June, 2015

One of the best acoustically responsive concert halls in the world, Coop Himmelb(l)au's House of Music in Aalborg has been a lively center for music and creative exchange since its opening in 2014. Based off of the simple, yet powerful courtyard typology and inspired by Le Corbusier’s La Tourette, the 1,300-seat concert hall is embraced by a U-shaped education center and enhanced by a careful overlapping of public and performance areas. This has allowed the building to live up to its name, becoming an animated House of Music where music is not only heard, but seen. 

This video is the first of a series by Spirit of Space. You can watch Coop Himmelb(l)au's Wolf Prix talk about his intentions behind the House of Music, after the break.  

The Robot Revolution: Coop Himmelb(l)au Founder Wolf D. Prix on the Future of Construction

09:30 - 3 March, 2015

With a recently released animation entitled “We Start the Future of Construction,” Coop Himmelb(l)au announced their intention to take digital fabrication to a radical new scale, demonstrating how technology is impacting almost every aspect of the architectural profession. The advent of building information modeling and other modeling software has transformed how architects and engineers navigate the construction process, allowing us to achieve increasingly complex forms that can be modeled with the aid of CNC machining and 3D Printing, but still there remains a wide gap between the technologies available to architects and those employed by builders. When it comes to a building’s actual construction we have been limited by the great costs associated with non-standard components and labor - but now, the automated practices that transformed manufacturing industries could revolutionize how we make buildings.

Last week, ArchDaily sat down with co-founder, Design Principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)auWolf D. Prix for his thoughts on the future of construction and the role of the architect in an increasingly technological practice. Read on after the break to find out how robots could impact architectural design, construction, and the future of the profession.

Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au Screenshot from Video. Image Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au +8

Mies. TV: Alternative Coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale

01:00 - 26 September, 2014
Mies. TV: Alternative Coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale, Courtesy of Mies. TV
Courtesy of Mies. TV

In June of this year seven architecture students came together to film the vernissage of the Venice Biennale. Undaunted by the unrelenting Venetian sun and the prospect of being faced by some of the world's greatest living architects and curators, the team - spanning four nationalities - spent three days feverishly talking to anyone and everyone (in between pasta and espresso breaks). Having built up a comprehensive picture of the opening days of the Biennale in a series of short, uninhibited filmed interviews, Mies. TV proudly presents their alternative, slightly shaky coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Watch short interviews with the likes of Jacques Herzog (Herzog + de Meuron), Daniel Libeskind, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sir Peter Cook (CRAB Studio), Wolf D. Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au), Sam Jacob (FAT), and ArchDaily's very own Editor-in-Chief - David Basulto - after the break.

Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted

00:00 - 27 February, 2014
Wolf D. Prix on Raimund Abraham: Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted, © Tomas Riehle / Arturimages
© Tomas Riehle / Arturimages

In the early years of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Raimund Abraham was a role model - later on a friend. On the occasion of the Austrian government "Staatspreis" awarded to Raimund Abraham, Wolf D. Prix held the speech of honor, and characterized him as one of the main representatives of the Austrian architectural approach of celebrating space.  

AD Interviews: Wolf D. Prix / Coop Himmelb(l)au

01:00 - 24 June, 2013

Highly regarded as both an academician and practitioner, Wolf Prix is an architect’s architect. And he’s a Guinness World Record holder! (The Busan Cinema Center boasts the world’s longest cantilever roof). We sat down with the Austrian architect and learned that not only does he welcome the unforeseeable results of rule-breaking, but he also borrows models of strategy and organization from soccer:

"Of course nowadays the architect as a single genius is over. I think we have to learn how to communicate and work in a team. Therefore, I just rearranged the organization of our office along the idea of the football team, FC Barcelona. Barcelona plays a beautiful game, very clever and very intelligent—they always play in a triangle system and then Messi or Xavi breaks the rules and plays street football with unforeseeable rules. This is the way we work in our office and this is the way that we design."