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  • Exhibited

    Architectural Association School of Architecture, Bedford Square, London, 25 February-31 July 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    As part of the AA Design Research Lab's tenth anniversary celebrations, all of the DRL's 354 graduates together with current Phase 2 students were invited to participate in a competition to design a pavilion. The competition brief called for an innovative structure that would utilise 13mm-thick fibre-reinforced concrete panels, normally used as a cladding material but employed here structurally, to create a temporary pavilion.Twenty-seven entries were received. The winning design, by Alan Dempsey (DRL 2002) and Alvin Huang (DRL 2004), was developed in collaboration with Hanif Kara and his team at Adams Kara Taylor, who offered engineering consultancy for the project, and was manufactured by the Austrian concrete firm Rieder & Co. Built as part of the DRL TEN exhibition, the assembly process was conceived as a live construction installation by current DRL students with the assistance of an assembly team from Rieder & Co in front of the AA School in Bedford Square.The DRL TEN pavilion could not have been realised without the support of Rieder & Co, who supplied the primary construction material, Fibre C – customised fibre-reinforced concrete panels – as well as technical support to all competition participants. The project has been generously supported by Adams Kara Taylor, Zaha Hadid Architects, Buro Happold and Innova Construction.The pavilion is formed by a discontinuous shell structure spanning over 10m made of thin fibre reinforced concrete elements which perform as structure and skin, floor walls and furniture. The concrete is manufactured by the Austrian company Rieder, and the design of the pavilion takes the material to new technical limits, which required extensive prototyping and material testing during the design development process. The jointing of discrete concrete profiles exploits the tensile strength of Fibre-C and a simple intersecting notch joint which is locked together using a bespoke rubber gasket assembly. The angle of intersection at each joint continuously varies across the structure. The entire design process was conducted using 3D digital and physical modelling, and the design development was completed using rigorous constraint modelling and scripting to control over 850 individually different profiles and 2000 joints. Finally, the elements were manufactured directly from digital models on CNC cutting equipment using standard sized 13mm thick flat sheets of Fibre-C concrete and 15mm thick mild steel plate.
    Alvin Huang
    Client: Architectural Association, Brett Steele, Director
    Project Designers: Alan Dempsey + Alvin Huang
    Project Directors: Yusuke Obuchi, Patrik Schumacher
    Structural Engineers: Adams Kara Taylor (Hanif Kara, Reuben Brambleby, Jugatx Ansotegui, Oliver Bruckerman, Sawako Kaijima, Panagiotis Michalatos)Material Consultants: Wolfgang Rieder, Maria Pixner, Gerhard Enn, Arnold Leiter, Bodo Röder
    Project Consultant: Charles Walker
    Scripting Consultants: Marc Fornes, Euguen Han
    Contruction Team: Joao Bravo Da Costa, Aditya Chandra, Alan Jinsoo Kim, Jwalant Mahadevwala, Rashiq Muhammad Ali, Carlos Andres, Parraga Botero, Thomas Andres Jacobsen-Collado, Pierandrea Angius, Saif Ala'a Al-Masri, Abhishek Bij, Rochana Chaugule, Rafael Contreras Morales, Xia Chun, Kai Chun Hu, Alkis Dikaios, Claudia Dorner, Pavlos Fereos, Brian Houghton, Julian Jones, Shipra Narang, Iain (Max) Maxwell, Sergio Reyes Rodriguez, Diego Ricalde Recchia, Alexander Robles Palacio, Ujjal Roy, Rajat Sodhi
    The Design Research Lab at the Architectural Association marked its ten year anniversary with a series of DRL TEN events in February and March 2008. These events included the DRL TEN exhibition in the AA Gallery and Front Members’ Room featuring ten years of work by the DRL’s staff, students and a selection of the 354 graduates of the programme. A pavilion was designed by DRL graduates Alan Dempsey and Alvin Huang whose winning entry in a design competition held in October 2007 was constructed adjacent to the AA in Bedford Square.
    In addition, a publication, DRL TEN: A Design Research Compendium was launched during the exhibition. The book documents the projects, people, discourses, tools and forms of dissemination pursued by the DRL’s staff, students and graduates since 1997. It features essays by Brett Steele, Mark Burry, Christopher Hight and Jesse Reiser and include interviews with Andrew Benjamin, Mark Cousins, Zaha Hadid and Jeffrey Kipnis. A public seminar was held at the AA on 23 February, 2008 in the AA Lecture Hall, featuring presentations by Brett Steele, DRL Directors and a selection of esteemed graduates presenting projects from offices including MAD, OMA, Zaha Hadid Architects, Future Systems, HOK Sport and other emerging practices.
    The AA Design Research Lab is an internationally acclaimed 16-month post-professional design programme at the Architectural Association. For over a decade, the DRL has been organised as an open-source design studio dedicated to a systematic exploration of new design tools, systems and discourses, targeted towards design innovations in architecture and urbanism.



‘[C]space DRL TEN’ pavilion

Fibre-reinforced concrete, rubber, mild steel. 
500.1 x 1000.1 x 600.1 cm. (196 7/8 x 393 3/4 x 236 1/4 in.)
Fibre-reinforced concrete manufactured by Rieder, Germany.  Designed for the Architectural Association School of Architecture ‘AA DRLTEN’ temporary pavilion competition.

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £55,250


25 Sept 2008, 2pm