With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture have devised a concretefloor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2cm, remains load bearing and simultaneously sustainable. Inspired by the construction of Catalan vaults, this new floor system swaps reinforced steel bars for narrow vertical ribs, thus significantly reducing the weight of construction and ensuring stability to counter uneven distributions on its surface.
As opposed to traditional concretefloors that are evidently flat, these slabs are designed to arch to support major loads, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings found in Gothiccathedrals. Without the need for steel reinforcing and with less concrete, the production of CO2 is minimized and the resulting 2cm floors are 70% lighter than their typical concrete counterparts.
Santiago Calatrava has unveiled plans for a new office building in the city center of Zurich, Switzerland. The new five-story building will be integrated into Stadelhofen Station, the transit hub and city landmark also designed by Calatrava in 1990.
On June 11th, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, also known as Manifesta, began its 100-day stint in this edition's host city, Zurich, Switzerland. The festival's center-piece is a timber raft floating on Lake Zurich, known as the Pavilion of Reflections. The temporary structure was designed and realized by Studio Tom Emerson and a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich. Constructed primarily of timber, Christian Jankowski, curator of Manifesta 11, describes the exhibit “as a floating multi-functional platform with a giant LED screen, a stand for spectators, a swimming pool and a bar.”
The exhibition, presenting seventy works – in all media – from each period of the artist’s career, honors five decades of the gallery showing Schwitter’s work. Hadid’s design is a reflection on the artist’s well-known, but destroyed, Merzbau, a sculpture that filled the artist’s workspace from 1923-1937. According to the Hadid’s office, “[Merzbau was] a living, inhabited collage, ever-shifting and expanding, and this was the starting point for [Zaha’s] exhibition design which pushes beyond mere random collage to embrace the unpredictable richness and the complex variegated order found in nature.” The design builds on an established relationship between Hadid and Galerie Gmurzynska; Merz following in the footsteps of an earlier exhibition space designed for another of the architect’s inspirations, Kasimir Malevich.
Manifesta—a nomadic, European biennial of contemporary art which "responds to the new social, cultural and political reality that developed in the aftermath of the Cold War"—emerged in the 1990s. For the eleventh incarnation of the event, which will take place in Zurich during the summer of 2016, Studio Tom Emerson have developed designs for a floating island which "will constitute a new temporary landmark in the city." Located on Lake Zurich and hosting an open-air cinema and integrated swimming pool, the Pavillon of Reflections will act as the central node for the 100-day festival. Designed and realised by a team of thirty students from ETH Zurich, the pavilion aims to offer a space for dialogue and reflection on the specific artworks created for the biennial.