Imagination and Concrete
Haylee Thomas-Kuhlmann (Post 13)
Concrete is one of the most used building materials today, but how is it usually used? All around us are beams, columns, and heavy structural aspects of concrete that hold up the buildings around us. What if we used concrete as a design material, a flexible fabric like material on buildings? Concrete fabric is a thing! We usually see in on ditches to guide water places or on hills that are falling apart due to erosion.
This fabric can be cut, molded, nailed, and stapled like actual fabric. To make the material malleable water is first applied. Once the material is in the correct spot it will dehydrate and take the form it was given and stay that way. It still holds many properties of concrete and has strength due to the fibers in the fabric. This material can also be as thin as 5 mm and two people can easily handle the roll while constructing (Andrew Dent and Milliken Infrastructure).
When first glancing at this material it seems that what its being used for is to manipulate landscapes to help with natural phenomenon. Often people think of concrete as a solid material unable to be formed into crazy shapes but with this material it opens a different way of using concrete. Walls could be made into waves, have seamless windows and edges, and come off as fabric. As an architect, using materials in an unlikely way is one way to produce an amazing building. Small huts and project have been made using this concrete fabric but there could be an even better use. Could this be the façade of a building? It blocks out the outside forces well and can even be paths for water. Could you bend folds into the face of the building to guide rainwater off the building into small man-made ponds? This can open many unique structures and buildings that have not been thought of!
However, there is minimal information on how structural it is or how heavy it is when molded. These could create sent backs in the design process and must be considered.
Dent, Andrew. “Architectural.” Fabric of the Future: Innovative Design Materials to Come. N.p., 3 May 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
“Milliken Infrastructure.” Milliken Infrastructure.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.