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KnitCandela receives Jury Prize and voted People’s Choice winner at Architizer A+ Awards

KnitCandela—a thin, sinuous concrete shell built on ultra-lightweight knitted formwork—has received the Jury Prize and also voted the People’s Choice winner at the Architizer A+ Awards 2019 in the ‘Details / Architecture+Concrete’ category.

Installed at Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, KnitCandela is an experimental structure designed by ZHCODE that pays homage to the architect & engineer Félix Candela—reimagining his inventive concrete shell structures through the introduction of new computational design methods and innovative KnitCrete knitted formwork technology.

KnitCrete is a material-saving & cost-effective knitted formwork system to cast double-curved geometries in concrete. Developed at ETH Zurich by Block Research Group in collaboration with the Swiss National Centre of Competence for Research, KnitCrete enables the realisation of a wide range of anticlastic geometries. With this cable-net and fabric formwork system, expressive concrete surfaces can now be constructed efficiently, without the need for complex moulds.

KnitCandela’s thin, double-curved concrete shell with a surface area of almost 50 sq.m and weighing more than 5 tonnes, was applied on a KnitCrete formwork of only 55 kg. The knitted fabric of the formwork system was carried to Mexico from Switzerland in just two suitcases.

Designed to be constructed within a tight schedule, restricted space and minimal budget, KnitCandela demonstrates the rapid evolution of digital design & fabrication to the challenges faced by the construction industry, integrating digital fabrication with the skills of traditional craftsmanship and construction methods.

Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex) managed KnitCandela’s construction as part of their work integrating digital technologies in building trades in Mexico.

Architizer A+ Winners