Researchers at ETH Zurich have 3D-knitted a structure on a computerised flat knitting machine that serves as the primary shaping element for curved concrete shells. The new technology is now being used to create a five-tonne concrete structure for an exhibition in Mexico City.

The heart of the four-metre-tall curved concrete shell is knitted – the structure’s formwork is a knitted textile supported by a steel cable-net. The prototype KnitCandela is thought to be the first time that this technology is being used on an architectural scale. The structure is a tribute to Spanish-Mexican architect Felix Candela (1910–1997) and a collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group (ZHCODE), and Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex).

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