The First Knitted Concrete Structure

A team from ETH Zurich in Switzerland has developed technology that allows them to knit textiles to create architectural structures. 

The knitting pattern behind their structure, KnitCandela, was designed by a computer. During a 36-hour process, an industrial knitting machine followed this computer-generated pattern to create four strips of textile. When putting the structure together, the pieces of textile were raised and tensioned between temporary frames. Then, a cement mixture was sprayed on the structure to strengthen it.  

The implications of this knitting technology are essential in a time where we are seeking more sustainable forms of design. This is the first time knitting has been used to create a structure in architecture. The team's research has demonstrated that just like 3D printing, this new application of knitting can simplify construction and cut down on materials, labour, and waste. 

The flexibility of the textile will allow for complex shapes to take form, thus modernizing architecture and providing designers with a new application to consider in their creative works. The reliance on industrial knitting machines also makes the process more accessible for future applications, as the process still depends on conventional technology. 

 KnitCandela is currently on display in the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneoin Mexico City.

This article was prepared by Summer Lewis, Chief Communications Director at sabasamanian.com