The Catenary Pavilion, Langenthal, 2010

The installation of the professorship Gramazio & Kohler creates a tangible exhibition space for the prototypes of the industrial design students from FHNW. The installation consists of 1022 unique polystyrene modules, which are assembled into a large scale mesh-structure.The geometry of the mesh-structure is based on a digitally simulated hanging chain model which allows for an optimal force flow within the structure. By this means, it enables the delicate design of each individual arch.The polystyrene modules spiral along the single arches. The structural interlocking of the unique modules are supporting the stability of the overall structure and enable the precise placement of each module without any further technical support.Each polystyrene module is individually cut within a non-standard fabrication process using an industrial robot and a hot-wire machine. The assembling is done manually.The structural concept of the design was initially developed during a workshop at the Smart Geometry Conference 2010 in Barcelona and is being applied in this project for the first time in a larger scale.

The project is kindly supported by Swisspor AG, which provided the refined EPS-foam material.

Gramazio & Kohler, Architecture and Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich

In cooperation with: Institut Industrial Design / Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz
Client: D`S Design Center AG, Designers Saturday
Collaborators: Andrea Kondziela (project lead), Ralph Bärtschi, Olga Linardou
Sponsors: Swisspor