2020 Norman Blank Prize winner: Eggshell and the Future Tree
The “Norman Blank Prize for Digital Fabrication” honours outstanding project work at ETH Zurich in the field of Digital Fabrication. The annual prize of CHF 2,000 is funded by a donation of Dr. Norman Blank to the ETH Foundation, and is granted each year based on nominations of professors. The winner is chosen by Dr. Blank from a shortlist of projects selected by the NCCR Digital Fabrication Steering committee.
Eggshell is a novel fabrication process for non-standard, reinforced concrete structures. It combines large-scale robotic 3D printing of formwork with simultaneous casting of a fast-hardening concrete. This process, allows for the fabrication of non-standard, structurally optimised concrete structures, whilst being able to integrate standard reinforcement and minimise formwork waste in the creation of expressive architectural form.
Future Tree consists of a funnel-shaped, lightweight timber frame structure built by a robot and a bespoke concrete column stem created using the Eggshell process of ultra-thin 3D printed formwork. The resulting expressive brise-soleil is installed into the courtyard of Basler & Hofmann, the client and project partner.
Congratulations to the Eggshell researchers: Joris Burger and Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi, and to the researchers in the Future Tree project team: Dr. Ania Apolinarska, Nizar Taha, Fabio Scotto, Dr. Thibault Demoulin, Bruno Pinto Aranda, Dr. Jaimé Mata-Falcon.
Photo credits: Gramazio Kohler Research / Joris Burger, MAS DFAB / Wenqian Yang