Firm Buzzi Architetti completed work this year on a residential and commercial development in Solduno, Switzerland. The complex’s standout feature is a brick skin that wraps around the main volume of the building, undulating as it goes.
Above image by Tessa Donati.
The firm told ArchDaily that the modular facade was assembled by a robot. This reminded us of a site-specific brick exhibition we covered earlier this year, Structural Oscillations by Gramazio & Kohler. Buzzi appears to be working with similar ideas, applying them to a large-scale structure. The builders compare the facade to pixels. From a distance the bricks take on a decidedly digital visual effect.
The firm states:
We wished to use brick to reinforce the link to the adjacent Rino Tami building, but with the help of 21st century technology delivered a contemporary reinterpretation. In collaboration with ROB AG -a ETH spin off responsible for digital programing- and the firm Keller AG from Pfungen, Switzerland, we developed a robot assembled modular facade. The bricks of each module bend inwards or outwards, reminiscent of bossage.
Super brick blocks reminding of pixels, form the facade’s image. Their scale was chosen carefully to enable combinations adaptable to the proportions of each of the building’s faces. ROB mathematically parameterized the modules for the production, while Keller developed custom bricks in a desert sand shade, using clay from Jura. Applying the randomly generated combination of panels on each of the three building’s faces, we created a brick patchwork regardless of windows and loggias.
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