Matter Design Studio has partnered with CEMEX Global R&D to challenge the relationship between the mass of materials and the physical effort of contemporary construction practices, exploring the movement and assembly of heavy objects on a real scale, manufactured using advanced computing. The objective of Walking Assembly is to eliminate the crane from the constructive equation, transferring the effort from people to objects, freeing them to play with the mass.
Description by the architects. The mysterious knowledge surrounding the transportation and placement of megalithic structures of the past eludes contemporary building practices. Walking Assembly re-introduces the potentials of that ancient knowledge to better inform the transportation and assembly of future architectures.
If a brick is designed for a single hand, and a concrete masonry unit (CMU) is designed for two, these massive masonry units (MMU) unshackle the dependency between size and the human body. Intelligence of transportation and assembly is designed into the elements themselves, liberating humans to guide these colossal concrete elements into place.
Structures that would otherwise rely on cranes or heavy equipment can now be intelligently assembled and disassembled with little energy.
By using variable density concrete, the center of mass of the object is calibrated precisely to control the stable, but easy motion of the elements. This ensures that these massive elements successfully walk and assemble into place, creating the possibility for a crane-less tilt up construction method and turning our building sites into spectacles of play.
Principals: Brandon Clifford & Johanna Lobdell (Matter Design), Davide Zampini (CEMEX Global R&D)
Matter Design Project Lead: Tyler Swingle
Matter Design Project Team: Daniel Marshall, Mackenzie Muhonen, Gil Sunshine
CEMEX Global R&D Project Leads: Alexandre Guerini, Carlos Enrique Terrado, Matthew John Meyers
Acknowledgements: Funding provided by CEMEX Global R&D
Size: 6.3m x 3m