Knit Concrete Formwork


Architectural Research

Absipha Pal, Chan Wileen, Chia Pei Zhi, Tan Ying Yi, Kenneth Tracy

The manufacture of concrete funicular shells often relies on traditional formwork construction techniques to provide a sculptured cavity for the fluid material to occupy. While this enables a predictable geometric outcome, the extensive use of timber and/or steel to construct these formworks account for up to 60% of the total production cost of concrete and are discarded after the casting is complete. This research proposes an alternative method to create prefabricated modular systems out of concrete casted in customised tubular knitted membranes. These perform as a network of struts that can be affixed onto 3D printed nodes of a singular design. Altogether, these components serve as a kit-of-parts that can be transported to site and assembled together to create shell geometries.

Further reading:
Pal, A., Chan, W.L., Tan, Y.Y., Chia, P.Z. and Tracy, K.J. (2020). Knit Concrete Formwork. In D. Holzer, W. Nakapan, A. Globa, I. Koh, E: Anthropocene, Design in the Age of Humans – Proceedings of the 25th CAADRIA Conference – Volume 1, Bangkok, pp. 213-22.