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Zaha Hadid Architects Develop Fully 3D-Printed Footbridge With No Reinforcements
By Ell Ko, 21 Jul 2021
Image via ETH Zürich
In the Giardini della Marinaressa park in Venice sits a revolutionary engineering creation: a 3D-printed footbridge which stands strong without any mortar or reinforcement.
Striatus is the name of the 16 x 12-meter (52.5 x 39.4-foot) bridge, proclaimed by the Zaha Hadid architectural firm as “the first of its kind.” The name is a nod towards its fabrication process: “Concrete is printed in layers orthogonal to the main structural forces to create a ‘striated’ compression-only funicular structure,” it shares with ArchDaily.
As it works solely on compression, forces put on it travel towards the footings, which are fastened together on ground level. And because the concrete is applied at specific angles, the layers are kept neatly packed together without the need for further reinforcement.
The monument was developed by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich and Zaha Hadid Architects Group architects. The 53 3D-printed concrete blocks used were created by specialists incremental3d, with ink provided by Holcim.
Since the structure doesn’t require mortar, it can be taken apart like building blocks, then reassembled in a different location. Similarly, if it reached its end of life, it’d be dismantled and recycled more easily, too.
Traditional reinforced concrete and steel used in buildings globally generate a huge amount of CO2 emissions during the production processes, not to mention transport and actual construction itself. The creation and existence of this bridge, and the recent opening of the one in Amsterdam, indicates that our infrastructure might be heading towards a less harmful future.
Striatus is being exhibited at the Giardini della Marinaressa during the Venice Architecture Biennale, which runs up to November 2021.
[via Archinect, images via various sources]
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