Soundproof rooms are usually coated with soft materials that can dampen sound waves. However, in this Clay Rotunda project, Gramazio Kohler Research uses an unusual material, clay bricks. The innovation of this installation was formed from the research on using building materials without waste that is processed by computational-based design methods.
(Clay Rotunda volume from the outside)
Clay Rotunda was created to complement the music auditorium of the SE MusicLab located in Switzerland. The construction was built using 30,000 bricks that were meticulously arranged to form a geometric volume.
(Clay Rotunda was built using 30,000 bricks made of soft clay)
In the process, Gramazio Kohler Research uses a special algorithm to take into account the capacity of clay so that it can be arranged without the help of construction structures. Therefore, the final result of the Clay Rotunda forms the geometry of the trapezoidal space building with a volume structure that is made wavy.
This shape will allow the brick to stand firm because the bottom is wider in volume than the top. In addition, the arrangement of the installation area with a diameter of 11 meters and a height of 5 meters makes the structure more stable and does not shrink when exposed to wind.
(Clay Rotunda structure designed corrugated)
The team mixed clay with sand, gravel, and water to minimize shrinkage in the material when exposed to wind or weather changes. All this material will be extruded into soft bricks with a diameter of 9 centimeters and a height of 15 centimeters.
(Clay, sand, gravel, and water are molded with a special machine and will produce cylindrical soft bricks)
(The robotic arm takes the clay bricks from the printing machine and arranges them)
Next, Gramazio Kohler Research repositioned each segment to form a volume corresponding to the design drawing. When soft bricks begin to be exposed to the wind, this material will produce unavoidable cracks, so the team must actively monitor and fill those cracks with the same clay mixture.
(30,000 bricks made of soft clay were arranged using a robot)
With the use of these materials, Clay Rotunda has provided an example of building an installation using emission-free materials. Through this project, Gramazio Kohler Research invites people to reduce material consumption by recycling a mixture of used materials with clay, and then completely reused.
(The inner area of the Clay Rotunda)