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Robot Builds Brick Wall In New York City

Robot Builds Brick Wall In New York City

A robot is currently building a looping brick wall right in the middle of New York. Over a period of three weeks, passers-by can watch the "Pike Loop" installation in the making on a traffic island.

The digitally controlled construction of the sculpture was developed at ETH-Zurich's Professorship of Architecture and Digital Fabrication.

Brick is a dominant feature of New York's cityscape, and Pike Street is no exception: from October 5 - 27, the citizens of Manhattan can follow in real time how an industrial robot uses innovative technology to transform the traditional material into a complex infinite loop - the "Pike Loop".

Digital and material realities

The brick loop in New York is no ordinary wall. The two architects, Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, who both teach and research at ETH Zurich, have breathed a breath of fresh air into popular design patterns with their interdisciplinary approach: "Digital characteristics can enrich a material and thus influence its architectural expression and functionality," say the two assistant professors of architecture and digital fabrication, whose research team designed and implemented "Pike Loop".

Instead of the conventional straight brick wall, you can use shapes and construction principles that have been programmed into the computer and digitally transferred to the material to make a three-dimensional composition.

"We marry the digital reality of the computer with the material reality of a building," say the two architects. They call this approach "digital materiality".

Pike Loop

"Light and shadows bring the digital structures to life. After twelve days of construction, the “Pike Loop” installation is already more than half finished."

Source: ETH Zurich

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