Centre for Architectural Structures Technology (CAST)
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
CAST is a laboratory for the research of fabric-formed concrete structures. As a formwork material, fabric provides a system of construction that is simple, highly reusable and lightweight. A single sheet of fabric can be used to form a multitude of different structural components – beams, trusses, columns, wall panels, vaults – and many combinations of these building parts.
Formwork is not static as it is with traditional plywood, steel or polystyrene formwork. Rather, form is generated by the event of introducing concrete into the mold. The fabric twists and contorts in response to the forces of gravity and the conditions that we have introduced by restraining the fabric in certain places.
The principle material used is a woven, geo-textile fabric that is permeable to air and water. This permeability results in concrete that is denser, has lower water content and an even distribution of air bubbles.
The column-capital-slab project was completed with Aleksandra Chomik and Leif Friggstad under the supervision of Ronnie Araya and Mark West.
The S3 and S4 vaults were completed with the CAST team under the supervision of Ronnie Araya and Mark West.