Thinness Pavilion is a 10’x10’x10’ pavilion showcasing design research with concrete fabrication via a collaboration between APTUM Architecture and CEMEX Global R&D. The mobile pavilion is made of 16 prefabricated elements comprised of two-centimeter-thick walls. The design hybridizes surface and structure with high-performance, lightweight concrete to create a new approach to being ‘thin’ yet volumetric by optimizing structure, surface, and material quality. The team aimed to fabricate a pavilion that would defy the typical perception of concrete as a heavy and solid material. This was achieved with a design of hollow elements that were light enough to be carried and assembled by just two people. Structural analysis of the elements and their surface pattern were optimized to reduce unnecessary material. In order to accentuate that the surface held the strength, the pattern responds to stress and load patterns on the surface when the pieces are moved. The formwork is a combination of digitally fabricated water-jet cut silicon inlays along with ‘lost wax mold’ techniques, using silicon to cast wax formwork that is melted and reused after each pour.


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