© Justin Diles

Plasticity Pavilion

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City, Country Houston, Texas, United States
Year 2014–2015
Client TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance
Architect Justin Diles
Services Structural Engineering

The Plasticity Pavilion suggests that volumetric complexity will be an integral quality of future architecture built from parts made with advanced digital fabrication techniques and high-performance material systems like composites. The project explores the possibility of reviving close-fitting masonry construction as an alternative to frame-based assemblies. The pavilion uses a system known in the composites industry as sandwich panel construction made from lightweight EPS foam blocks shaped on large-format CNC routers and covered with a 1/8” layer of FRP. The design also points to the possibility of architectural thickness created by thin but strong surfaces.

The pavilion features a self-supporting structural system formed from massive stereotomic (cut solid) parts, precisely stacked into a complex nested arrangement. Like the large stones used in historic masonry, the elements of the Plasticity Pavilion connect along perimeter surfaces, and structural loads are carried in a distributed way from part to part, not centralized in columns or beams.

Design Technologies
Temporary & Mobile