Robots build! At their program in architecture and digital production at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), the architects Gramazio & Kohler have installed a research facility that is unique in the world. It is based on a computer-controlled industrial robot that produces construction elements directly from design data. The robot works flexibly with a tremendous range of tools and materials. In this way Gramazio & Kohler probe the exciting potential of digital design, construction, and manufacturing techniques for architecture. In their projects they incorporate insights and discoveries from the field of computer-aided production into the architectonic design process, using computers to develop innovative construction techniques and architecture. First structures using robots have already been built, for example the much noted Gantenbein vineyard in Fläsch (CH) or the installation at the Swiss Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.
Matthias Kohler and Fabio Gramazio are codirectors of the architecture firm Gramazio and Kohler in Zurich. Among their recent works are the sWISH* Pavilion at Expo.02 (for IBM and Swiss Re) and the new Christmas lighting display on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.
Author(s): Fabio Gramazio & Matthias Kohler