Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Block Research Group, in collaboration with incremental3D and Holcim, a “first of its kind” 3D-concrete-printed bridge has opened to the public in Venice. The unveiling is aligned with the city’s Biennale of Architecture that runs through until November. Titled Striatus, the footbridge is said to establish a new language for concrete that is digital, environmentally advanced and circular by design. It’s held together through compression – with no reinforcements – applying computational design and 3D printing for minimal material use and maximum strength.
“The name Striatus reflects the bridge’s structural logic and fabrication process,” says Philippe Block, co-director of the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich. “In arched and vaulted structures, material is placed such that forces can travel to the supports in pure compression. Strength is created through geometry, using a fraction of the materials used in conventional concrete beams.”
Striatus concrete-printed bridge in Venice / News highlights
- A “first of its kind” 3D-concrete-printed bridge has opened to the public in Venice.
- Titled Striatus, the footbridge was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Block Research Group, in collaboration with incremental3D and Holcim.
- It’s held together through compression – with no reinforcements – applying computational design and 3D printing for minimal material use and maximum strength.
- Holcim is working on a range of 3D Concrete Printing applications, from complex infrastructure to affordable housing.
- The unveiling of Striatus is aligned with the city’s Biennale of Architecture that runs through until November.
Striatus is made possible by a specific, custom-made ink, from Holcim’s TectorPrint range, developed by its 3D Concrete Printing research team. It sets a blueprint for the future using advanced technologies; the next generation of inks can include Holcim’s green building solutions, such as ECOPact green concrete, which comprises recycled construction and demolition waste.
“Striatus stands on the shoulders of giants: it revives ancestral techniques of the past, taking the structural logic of the 1600s into the future with digital computation, engineering and robotic manufacturing technologies,” says Shajay Bhooshan, Head of CODE, Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computation and Design research arm.
It was designed by some of the best architectural and creative minds in their fields and demonstrates the infinite possibilities of 3D concrete printing in enabling more sustainable, faster and effective building structures, without compromise on aesthetics and functionality. “Its digital and circular design uses concrete at its best, with minimal material use and blocks that can be repeatedly reassembled and infinitely recycled,” adds Jan Jenisch, CEO of Holcim.
Holcim is working on a range of 3D Concrete Printing applications, from complex infrastructure to affordable housing. In Malawi, the company launched the world’s-first 3D concrete printed school, taking only 18 hours to build the walls and using 70% less materials than traditional building techniques.
The organisation is also working with GE Renewable Energy and COBOD to 3D concrete-print taller wind turbine towers on-site, doubling their height to harness stronger winds and capture 33% more renewable electricity at lower cost.
“Holcim continues to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability around the world – and locally in Australia and New Zealand,” says George Agriogiannis, CEO of Holcim Australia and New Zealand. “In April we launched ECOPact concrete in Australia to offer architects and builders options to reduce embodied carbon by 30 to 60%. [The] opening of Striatus pushes the frontier again to show what is possible with smart collaboration and design ingenuity.”
[The] opening of Striatus pushes the frontier again to show what is possible with smart collaboration and design ingenuity.