Gramazio Kohler Research
Open Positions
Compas FAB
Compas Timber
AIXD: AI-eXtended Design
AI-Augmented Architectural Design
Impact Printing
Human-Machine Collaboration
AR Timber Assemblies
Architectural Design with Conditional Autoencoders
Integrated 3D Printed Facade
Think Earth SP7
Robotic Plaster Spraying
Additive Manufactured Facade
Timber Assembly with Distributed Architectural Robotics
Eggshell Benches
Autonomous Dry Stone
Data Driven Acoustic Design
Mesh Mould Prefabrication
Data Science Enabled Acoustic Design
Thin Folded Concrete Structures
Adaptive Detailing
Deep Timber
Robotic Fabrication Simulation for Spatial Structures
Jammed Architectural Structures
Digital Ceramics
On-site Robotic Construction
Mesh Mould Metal
Smart Dynamic Casting and Prefabrication
Spatial Timber Assemblies
Robotic Lightweight Structures
Mesh Mould and In situ Fabricator
Complex Timber Structures
Spatial Wire Cutting
Robotic Integral Attachment
Mobile Robotic Tiling
YOUR Software Environment
Aerial Construction
Smart Dynamic Casting
Topology Optimization
Mesh Mould
Acoustic Bricks
Additive processes
Room acoustics

Pike Loop, Manhattan, New York, 2009
Installation in public space
Pike Loop is a 22m (72ft) long structure built from bricks, the most traditional building material widely present in New York. It was designed to be built on-site with an industrial robot from a movable truck trailer. More than seven thousand bricks aggregate to form an infinite loop that weaves along the pedestrian island. In changing rhythms the loop lifts off the ground and intersects with itself at its peaks and valleys. The massive weight of the bricks is brought to a delicate suspension. The digitally designed brick structure is further articulated by a weighted compressing and tensioning of the brick bond. Where the loop flies the bond becomes stretched and thus lighter; where it brings loads to the ground it becomes jagged and heavier, thus wider and more stable.

The continuous form and homogeneous expression of the structure can only be achieved through on site digital fabrication. The structure is built using the robotic fabrication unit R-O-B housed in a transportable freight container. R-O-B was shipped from Switzerland to New York and loaded onto a low bed trailer for transport and onsite fabrication. The moving of the truck trailer shifts the 4.5m (15ft) work area of R-O-B along the site in order to build the complete structure.

The first public installation built with R-O-B, Structural Oscillations, was exhibited at the 2008 International Architecture Biennale in Venice. While the installation in Venice was prefabricated next to the site, Pike Loop is the first installation that is directly built in situ.

Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Client: Storefront for Art and Architecture in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program
Collaborators: Michael Knauß (project lead), Ralph Bärtschi, Markus Giera, Michael Lyrenmann, Kirsten Weiss, Brett Albert, Gabriel Cuéllar, Léonard Kocan, Marc Pancera, Tom Stewart
Selected experts: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, P.C. (Structural Engineering)
Sponsors: ETH Zurich, Faculty of Architecture
Keller AG Ziegeleien
Consulate General of Switzerland in New York
Swiss International Airlines
General Shale Brick Inc.
USM Modular Furniture
Pro Helvetia
Sika Schweiz AG
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, P.C.
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
New York city Department of Cultural Affairs

Copyright 2024, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Gramazio Kohler Research
Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication
ETH Zürich HIB E 43
Stefano-Franscini Platz 1 / CH-8093 Zurich

+41 44 633 49 06
Follow us on:
Vimeo | Instagram