Gramazio Kohler Research
Open Positions
The Digital in Architecture II HS21
The Digital in Architecture I FS21
The Digital in Architecture II HS20
MAS DFAB: Rapid Clay Formations (Brunnen)
The Digital in Architecture I FS20
MAS DFAB: Rapid Clay Formations (Rio)
The Digital in Architecture II HS19
Robotic Landscapes III
MAS DFAB: Up Sticks
Seminar Week AS19
The Digital in Architecture FS19
Seminar Week SS19
The Digital in Architecture II HS18
Robotic Landscapes II
MAS DFAB: Rapid Clay Formations
Zero-Waste Geometry
Seminar Week AS18
ROB|ARCH 2018 Workshop
MAS DFAB: Gradual Assemblies
The Digital in Architecture FS18
Robotic Landscapes I
Malleable Voxels
MAS DFAB: minijammed
Seminar Week
MAS DFAB: Brick Labyrinth
MAS DFAB: Robotic Pavilion
Force-Adaptive Wire Cutting
Spatial Extrusions 2
Spatial Extrusions
Graded Structures 2
Graded Structures
Robotic Wire Cutting Summerschool
Spatial Wire Cutting
Extruded Structures
Remote Material Deposition Installation
Remote Material Deposition
Depth Modulations 2
Design of Robotic Fabricated High Rises 2
Depth Modulations
Complex Timber Structures 2
Complex Timber Structures 1
Robotic Metal Aggregations
Shifted Frames 2
Design of Robotic Fabricated High Rises 1
Shifted Frames 1
Spatial Aggregations 2
Spatial Aggregations 1
Robotic Clay Molding
The Fragile Structure 2
The Fragile Structure 1
Procedural Landscapes 2
Procedural Landscapes 1
Seminar Week
The Interlocking 2
The Interlocking 1
The Sequential Structure 2
The Sequential Structure 1
Explicit Bricks
The Programmed Column 2
The Programmed Column 1
Open Air Theater
Voxels 2
Voxels 1
The Opening 2
The Opening 1
The Sequential Wall 2
The Sequential Wall 1
The Foam
The Resolution Wall
Construction Hoarding
The Dissolved Wall
Domoterra Lounge
The Perforated Wall 2
The Perforated Wall 1
The Programmed Wall
The Oblique Hole

Rapid Clay Formations, Full-scale Mock-up for the SE MusicLab project, Brunnen, 2020
The Rapid Clay Formations project implements an in-situ robotic fabrication process for building with expressive soft clay bonds by robotically compressing clay cylinders at a large scale. The project makes use of accurate robotic positioning, spatial orientation, and controlled pressing of clay cylinders to form interlocking aggregations. It uses computational design and fabrication strategies to arrive at a sustainable construction technique as an alternative to labor-intensive rammed earth structures.

Preliminary material and robotic assembly research were conducted for a pavilion at the World Congress of Architects UIA 2020 during a 10-week design research workshop where students of the MAS ETH DFAB, together with researchers of Gramazio Kohler Research, were able to develop an apposite earthen material mix for the cylinders and a series of fabrication- and material-aware computational design strategies. The team implemented robotic processes that allowed building at full-scale and set up the tooling for controlling the robotic end-effector for picking, placing, and pressing the clay cylinders onto the main wall structure.

The development was continued by our team together with our industry partners Lehmag AG and Seforb Sarl, aiming for its application in a real-world construction project. In September 2020, the results of this study were carried out at Lehmag AG in Brunnen, Switzerland, where the team realized a full-scale mock-up of an undulating clay wall of 5m height for the SE MusicLab in Bern. The prototype consists of more than 8000 cylinders, divided into 25 fabrication segments each with its respective robot position, and has been built over a period of 3 weeks.

Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

In cooperation with: Lehmag AG
Client: SE MUSICLAB - Jürgen Strauss, Jost Kutter, Manuel Frick, Lorenzo Zanetta, Filippo Melena, Anna Imfeld-Aebischer, Markus Imfeld
Collaborators: David Jenny (project lead), Coralie Ming, Nicolas Feihl, Selen Ercan Jenny, Hannes Mayer
Students Trimester 2 Building Workshop: Edurne Morales Zuniga, Anton T Johansson, Jomana Baddad, Indra Santosa, Eliott Sounigo, Tsai Ping-Hsun
Students Trimester 2 Project: Maria Pia Assaf, Jomana Baddad, Frederic Brisson, Yu-Hung Chiu, Rémy Clemente, Ioulios Georgiou, Mahiro Goto, Anton T Johansson, Laszlo Mangliar, Dinorah Martinez Schulte, Edurne Morales Zuniga, Fatemeh Salehi Amiri, Emmanuelle Sallin, Indra Santosa, Eliott Sounigo, Chanon Techathuvanun, Ping-Hsun Tsai
Support: Mike Lyrenmann and Philippe Fleischmann (Robotic Fabrication Laboratory, ETH Zurich), Andi Reusser (Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich), Lydia Zehnder (Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology, ETH Zurich)
Selected contractors: Seforb Sarl
Industry partner: Brauchli Ziegelei AG
Sponsors: Brauchli Ziegelei AG, Welti Furrer AG

Copyright 2016, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Gramazio Kohler Research
Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication
ETH Zürich HIB E 43
Stefano-Franscini Platz 1 / CH-8093 Zurich

+41 44 633 49 06
Follow us on:
Vimeo | Instagram