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Out of a collaboration between the Emergent Technologies and Design program (EmTech) of the Architectural Association (AA), London, and the Chair of Structural Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, a temporary light timber construction has been designed that functions as sun shading for parts of the grand stairs in front of the architecture department of the ETH. Based on bending behavior under the self-weight of over-sized sheets of plywood of up to 11 x 2.5 m, the design activates the material properties as the defining element in the transfer of forces. More images and architects’ description after the break. The exploration of the sheet material and the manipulation of its bending properties by controlling the number of layers of ply and the fiber direction of these layers was the starting point of the design process. The precise geometry of the bending curve emerged out of the distribution of matter, the hierarchy within plywood as composite material and given load conditions. View more View full description
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