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Aerial view of pavillion in EME3 Festival (photo credit: Andrés Flajszer)

(photo credit: Andrés Flajszer)
(photo credit: Andrés Flajszer)
Simulated erecting process.
Structural analysis of pretension and vertical loads
(photo credit: Andrés Flajszer)
(photo credit: Andrés Flajszer)

In the current challenges of a collapse-risk world, building solutions are called to be more efficient and requiring less energy. In this lightweight race, the potential of active-bending structures and the seduction of the slenderness and rigidity of weaving techniques, triggers the exploration of traditional basketry, through the hope in the scale change of bent interwoven planks, and the trust in engineered wood such as plywood as a high flexible and renewable, thus suitable material. This study proposes an adaptation of triaxial weaving as building technique for elastic timber gridshells.

The goal is to minimize energy and material waste, while simplifying assembling process. We propose the combined strategy of building a lightweight gridshell with a low-tech fabrication process based in vernacular weaving techniques and using strictly industrialized boards. In the context of the EME3 architectural festival in June 2012 in Barcelona, the research group was invited to build a self-standing structure with reduced budget and assembling time. A crew of students helped to weave and erect this uniform and non-hierarchical fabric assimilating the building technique to the bottom up organization system: coupling small weak elements for a collective stiffness. Characteristics: 15 UPM Wisa Birch standard boards sawn into 5 cm battens (280 repeated pieces and 30 different), 257 Kg and 93 m2 covered (2.8 Kg/m2), no screws, no waste. Budget: 1500€.