Monday, January 31, 2011

Extreme Formworking Part I

I want to start a series of posts about constructions where formwork and coccrete was taken to "extremes" regarding form and function.
This first post is about the MUMUTH (House for Music and Musictheatre) as part of the university of graz in Austria.

above images credit: Christian Richter

a pdf with more info of the contractor:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

emplica plicafix under water

To test the quality of our repair system, we have submerged a piece of wisaform (film-faced birch plywood) with a emplica plicafix repair spot under water for 3 months. We only took it out of the water to take pictures. Unofrtunately (for the viewer), there is no difference between day1 and day 90. Which means, that our system does not take in any water. We are very pleased with the results. We used a PUR Glue and our standard drill and plicafix repair spot.
Here is our little time-lapse video of the test:

more info about our products here:

Single family house in Austria by Wolfgang Tschapeller

Not especially cozy for my taste, but the stark contrast between the exterior and the interior is quite appealing. The question with most of these kind of houses (architect's houses) is: where do you put all your stuff without destroying the design? I have lived in some quite modern appartments and as we all know, we do have stuff that just lies around (magazines, laundry to do, family photos, inherited old furniture...). And yes, how do you keep all those corners clean?
Anyway, i like the architects concept of having the interior in complete opposition to the outer hull. I would have never expected the inside to be so completely without right angles... Very interesting.

image: Lukas Schaller
see more images and text here at dezeen:

fair faced concrete formwork repair systems

Monday, January 24, 2011

Medvedev to drum up investors for ski resort plans in north caucasus

Since years, russian tourists have been coming in masses to western ski resorts. I always wondered why they dont ski at home. There must be enough snow and mountain in russia or not?
Now the "Moscow times" published this article about Medvedev trying to find investors for ski resorts in the North Caucasus. The goal of raising US$ 15bn seems to be not too high, especially since he will talk about it at the WEF in Davos this week.
here is a little trailer about one of russias best skiing areas:
Unfortunately, the region around the Elbrus (europe's highest peak) has been a little dangerous to travel to.

wikipedia commons

Jordan Government to spend US$4,8 bn on infrastructure, housing, transport

According to Jordan's Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, between 2011 and 2013, large public-private partnership programmes will be boosting the construction sector.
read the full article on Jordan's plans to improve investment here:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brazil to turnover up to 50 bn USD for both World Cup 2014 and Rio Olympics 2016

As Brazil's economy is boosting, south americas largest country will see another boost by the US$ 11.2 billions to be spend for the two major events in 2014 and 2016. Since the last World Cup in Brazil in 1950, the country has seen extreme development. Now construction will be given yet another boom with hundreds of kilometers of new roads and road improvement, residential buildings and not least the event venues. Aditionally, around US$ 700m will be spend for improving electricity infrastructure and another US$ 500m on telecommunications.

Brazil is spending at least US$ 1bn in renovation and upgrading World Cup event venues. The finals will be held in Rio.

Rio, as the Host city of the Olympics 2016, has started construction already early in 2010. Accomodations of about 18.000 Athletes will be maximum 25 mins from all venues. The Olympic Village is being built on 75 hectares of land.

Both events together will generate about US$ 50 bn of spending in construction and other related industries over the next years until 2027

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brazil's GDP soon exceeding major european contries

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Brazils economy and GDP will be passing France's GDP already 2010 and pass UK in 2013. By 2025, Brazil's economy will be stronger than Germany's or Japan's. More information here on "latinbusinesschronicle"

european conctruction equipment rental business going strong

according to a regular poll by KHL, european rental market has stayed strong during 2010 and even gained momentum in the last quarter. The poll is organized by the European rental Association and International rental News.
Read the article on KHL here and find the full survey soon in the january-february edition of IRN magazine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kuwait boosts construction

Kuwait's government plans on spending 106 bn USD for construction within the next 5 years. Spending includes new infrastructure projects and housing as well as renewal of existing motorways.
read more about kuwait's construction spening here.

World Cup Qatar deals

Firms line up as Qatar is likely to spend USD 86 bn on infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.
read full article here

McGrawHill US Construction Outlook 2011 available

McGrawHill's US Construction Outlook 2011 is available for purchase here:

Russian construction tycoon Shalva Chigirinsky plans USD 700m tower in Moscow

After the crisis of 2008 had destroyed the plans for a 1,5 bn Tower in Moscow, Chigirinsky plans a new building, about half the size of the originally planned. While no details have yet been reveiled, it seems very likely that chigirinsky has already collected investors for his new project and will start construction soon.
Read more in the moscow times here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

concrete and carbon dioxide (co2)

Read this article about how manufacturers are trying to reduce concrete's carbon footprint.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

rubber formwork for unusual concrete structures

surfing the web, i found some very interesting / entertaining links to rather artistic uses of concrete in combination with elastic formwork.
The works are surprisingly "unconcretish".

concrete chair by

The  Architectural Association Design Research Laboratory does extensive research on complex structures.
In their course "matter as computation" the following works were created:

Another very interesting material is "Concrete canvas" by a UK Company with the same name. The ydeveloped a Water and Fireproof concrete-impregnated fabric. Very useful for landscape structuring etc.
have a look here:

What happens if you combine architecture and higher mathematics?

Well, structures of astonishing complexity and beauty. Just like the Mandelbrot set as a two-dimensional image of complex fractal structures, Architects can play with numbers as well to build three-dimensional complexity.

Michael Hansmeyer is one of them. I don't know how formwork for his complex structures could ever be built, but it sure seems like a task for really professional engineers...

hae a look at his website with lots of images:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

russian government infrastructure investment to reach USD450 bn 2010-2015

According to, an eastern europe and russia research company, russian government rolled out a plan to invest 450 bn USD within the next five years to improve transport infrastructure. This includes rail and motorways as well as airports and seaports. After the large scale investments that came with the sochi winter games 2014, the world cup in 2018 is boosting the construction investment even further.
read the whole article here:

image copyright: Jurijs Svecovs
Money spent on russian motorways is money well spent.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

new Salvador Dali museum to open in St. Petersburg, Florida

The new Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida will open on January 11, 2011. Have a look at the fantastic combination of glass and concrete!
here is the museum's website: