Monday, February 21, 2011


This beautiful and airy gymnasium was designed by swiss architect Livio Vacchini. Not often have i seen a concrete structure looking so light and fragile. I am very pleased.

all images courtesy Livio Vacchini Architect

link: Sportscomplex Windisch

formwork repair system: emplica

complicated Formwork

Japanese Architects Norihiko Dan and associates have completed a beautful visitor centre and administrations office at Taiwan's recreational area of "Sun Moon Lake".

all images: norihiko dan & associates

Moscow's Yelena Baturina's company investigated by state authorities

According to the Moscow Times, a team of heavily armed police officers raided an office of one of Baturina's construction companies last week.
Beaturina, the wife of former moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, is considered the richest woman in russia. She is suspected of embezzlement and fraud.
In the specific case, Baturina founded a company owning some land outside of moscow. The company only held USD 300 own capital in its charter but was able to be granted a loan of USD 440 millions (!) by the bank of moscow to buy the property. A few days later, the property holding company was sold to an english investment company. Curiously, the USD 440 million loan was never paid to the property company but instead appeared  on one of Baturina's private accounts...
At the same time, the case againts Baturina is very weak, since she was the owner of the land in the first place and did pay her taxes upon the 440 millions. The problem is actually only that she was granted a loan of public money to finance the transactions. This is probably too little to have a case against her.
Baturina just used a little "shortcut" since it was her land and money after all. but to do that with public money is a little bold.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

complicated Formwork

I have the impression that the city of Porto (Portugal) attracts architects or at least encourages the construction of extraordinary buildings (see earlier post on vodafone's portugal headquarters). Here is another one that probably made some civil engineers get grey hair.

The "casa da musica" is a communal concerthall, built for Porto being European Capital of Culture in 2001.

wikipedia commons

wikipedia commons


more on the casa da musica here, here and here.

innovative plywood formwork repair systems: emplica formwork repair

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Formwork abused: Backstage Hotel in Zermatt

just recently i visited the new "Backstage Hotel" in Zermatt, whos owner Heinz is a friend of mine. Arriving there, i was happy to see some formwork standing around. Well, the hotel is open for guests, and the formwork is used as a wall in a very "heinzish" artistic way as a wall.

image: backstage hotel
Of course the formwork has been cleaned, although i must say, it hasnt been repaired and looks quite used... i had an itch in my fingers to pull out my router and repair it. But it is art, so i had to leave it the way it is. Maybe next weekend i'll sneek in again and do some proper repairing.

Anyway, if you want to see it yourself in zermatt, here you go:
Heinz, if you like me to do some repairing: here you go:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

India: Government's construction spending fiscal year 10/11

India's Governments has a large scale scheme for development which is also meant to boost the local economy.
Within the governments budget the following numbers stick out for 2011:
- Rural infrastructure development: USD 84 bn
- Urban development & housing: USD 2.6 bn
- General infrastructure (railways, roads etc): USD 54 bn

Alone in Dheli, around 40.000 Flats are being built on governement schemes at this moment.

The total growth of the construction industry in india for 2011 is estimated at 7.7 per cent, of which the larger part goes to infrastructure.

Ongoing construction has a value of roughly USD 100 bn at this stage
The Governement plans to finish construction 20 km of new highway per Day.
India's Government needs to spend USD 500 bn on construction within the next 5 years.

- Government of India
- indian times

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Iraq to become construction industry's new "paradise"

According to the international monetary fund, iraq's economy will grow by 7 per cent over the next 12 months. The construction industry will have a large share of that since many schools, official buildings and infrastructure as well as residential buildings have not been rebuilt after the invasion of 2003.
Reconstruction and rebuilding iraq is today's task for construction. Infrastructure projects will keep construction busy for the next 10 years.
Due to lack of expertise withing iraq, foreign companies can have high hopes for projects.
As safety still is a problem, any construction company should be careful until the region is more stable.

edit: Just found out: There is a train connection between Berlin and Baghdad...look here

image: wikipedia

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Extreme Formworking Part III (or: "Where can i hang my Dali?")

Today: Antti Lovags Palais Bulle outside of Cannes. Here, the architects love for bubbles is expressed quite extensively. Not a single wall is straight.
On a beautiful spot overviewing the mediterranean sea, the fench fashion designer Pierre Cardin had this palace built in the late 1980's.
It is extreme formworking, because there are no straight walls or ceilings. Only the floors are even. Since the bubbles are lying on top of each other in a pile, the engineering works must have taken quite some brains and calculations. Or a lot of Artists.
The bubbles were built by erecting round steel "framework grids", "knitwear" (fabric) attached to the grid as a permanent formwork and then filling it up with fibre concrete.
(c) sepienthia

(c) sepienthia

here is a link to a good description of the design and construction process:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

emplica vs. epoxy filler test

We tested the competitiveness of emplica repair system vs. common epoxy putty.
The video says all: Putty takes much longer (30 mins.).

emplica vs. putty (epoxy filler)

we have commenced tests on the competitiveness of our emplica plywood panel repair system against epoxy putty.
Repair with putty takes about 3-5 minutes plus 30 mins. curing time
Repair with emplica takes about 1 minute

Putty repairs are NEVER even with the panel.

Here some "amateurish" images of our tests, which will continue as we try to find out after how many pours the putty will fall out of the damage (already after one pour, water creeps in).
image: emplica formwork repair
prepared plywood panel with emplica repair spot and epoxy putty

image: emplica formwork repair
concrete with emplica repair spot and epoxy putty

almost Extreme Formworking

Vodafone has many offices, some of them not so beautiful but one is a real gem... The one Vodafone built for its Portugal team. It was all poured in-situ with white concrete and looks really stunning. Who wouldnt want to work there?
Vodafone Headquarter Oporto, Portugal
image: FG&SG

I guess the portuguese employees of Vodafone have done a better job than their german colleagues:
Vodafone Headquerter Düssledorf, Germany
(ok, that is the old building, but even the new one is far from it's portuguese style)
image: wikipedia

Ok, back to the Oporto Building:

image: afaconsult

image: FG&SG
image: FG&SG

Extreme Formworking Part II

Today, i will look at the famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain. Antoni Gaudi's ufinished larger-than-life project started in 1883 and is still going on. Authorities are planning to have it finished in 2026, hundred years after Gaudi's death. The Sagrada Familia is a true landmark of Barcelona and i think anyone interested in construction and architecture has to see it at least once. And while in Barcelona, have a look at all the other buildings Gaudi erected.
The cathedral is about half finished at this moment, with the major challenges still ahead. The Design might not appeal to everyone, but it is seriously impressive, also because it looks a little "amateurish" or "wild". I was actually a little afraid when i visited it that something may fall from the ceiling whilst me in there...

The majority of the structure is made of scultped stone, but already in the beginning, concrete was used as well. Actually, one of the biggest sponsors in the beginning was a spanish cement manufacturer.

Since the structure is so crooked, most of the formwork is made from polyester or raw timber for single use. It is extreme formworking to me because engineers are working in great heights and it all looks so fragile. but please have a look yourself:




image: sagrada familia foundation

the sagrada familia carpenter team
iamge: sagrada familia foundation
below is a link to a free article about the formwork for sagrada familia:

here is another very good article from mcGrawHill continuing education center with some very good images: