On July 2nd 2018 Experiment R – Opticut was inaugurated to the public by dean of Aarhus School of Architecture, Torben Nielsen. Experiment R is a sculptural pavilion in Ultra High Performance Concrete (UPHC), located at the marina of Aarhus. The pavilion is a result of a multi-year collaboration between Odico A/S, Aarhus School of Architecture, Hi-con and multiple partners from the Danish construction industry.
The collaboration explored the potential for cost-effective production of topology optimized concrete structures through high-speed manufacturing of EPS formwork produced via robotic wire-cutting. The advanced design of the pavilion is an expression of the computational optimizations through which the structure has been generated. The project demonstrates how the assistance of robots enable the synergy between architectural sophistication and sustainable construction.
Using a proprietary technology for EPS formwork manufacturing developed by Odico, it is possible to reduce the concrete consumption by up to 70% compared to conventional structures. That is a significant figure in construction, where the production of concrete today represents 8% of the global co2 emissions – 4 times the emissions generated by global aviation. However, the main challenge is that constructing advanced, optimized shapes are significantly more expensive than the savings achieved from material consumption. The goal of Experiment R is to challenge that equation by reducing the cost of advanced concrete construction.