Lightweight Funicular Floor

  • Location: Cape Town, Venice, Zurich
  • Date: 2020

The lightweight funicular floor proposes an alternative construction method for casting floor and roof slabs. It demonstrates how structural geometry can significantly reduce resource consumption and enable the use of local and sustainable building materials. Combined with structurally-informed fabrication techniques, this system demonstrates the potential of providing safer and more dignified housing alternatives in an affordable and sustainable manner.

The arch-profiled floors drastically reduce the amount of material used when compared to conventional slabs in buildings. The lightweight falsework and shuttering of the formwork system can be fabricated using local grasses and invasive reeds by local basket weavers. Such a system not only further reduces the overall environmental impact of the building as well as the construction process, but also supports market-driven demand for sustaining local tradition and craftsmanship.

This project is collaboration between the Block Research Group (BRG) of ETH Zurich and nonCrete.

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