fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Gramazio Kohler Architects / NCCR DFAB
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Gramazio Kohler Architects / NCCR DFAB

Research as Architecture: A Laboratory for Houses, Homes and Robots

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Fabio Gramazio (Swiss, b.1970) and Matthias Kohler (Swiss, b.1968) of Gramazio Kohler Architects (Switzerland, est.2000) + Gramazio Kohler Research ETH Zurich (Switzerland, est.2005) in collaboration with Benjamin Dillenburger (German, b.1977), Jonas Buchli (Swiss, b.1977), Robert Flatt (Swiss, b.1969), Joseph Schwartz (Swiss, b.1957), Walter Kaufmann (Swiss, b.1967), Guillaume Habert (French, b.1977) and Konrad Graser (German, b.1977) of ETH Zurich (Switzerland, est.1855) + NCCR Digital Fabrication (Switzerland, est.2014)


The post-digital age requires the built environment to become more agile, malleable, and adaptive to change. Research as Architecture presents a design attitude that proactively curates spatial, temporal, and technological processes that reach beyond form and create novel identities responding to the complexity and unpredictability of our planet. The installation presents the design of NEST, a dynamic plug-in platform for architectural research, and DFAB HOUSE, an experimental building that demonstrates research in computational design and digital fabrication. As DFAB HOUSE literally plugs into NEST, the visitor is confronted with hitherto unseen entanglements of architectural scales, temporalities, and authorships.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
Human-machine collaboration.
Photo: Roman Keller


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
A house on a house.
Photo: Roman Keller


Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich
Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction
Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich
Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Sika Schweiz AG
Sika Services AG
se cover GmbH
Rebiennale / R3B

Production credits

Scenography: Sarah Schneider, Hannes Mayer of Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich
Photography: Roman Keller, Zürich
Videos: Marc Schwarz & Marcel Schwarz Local
Support: Tommaso Rava + Rebiennale

Project NEST
Architecture: Gramazio Kohler Architects
Collaborators: Philipp Hübner, Claudia Kuhn, Sarah Schneider (project lead), Basile Diem, Julian Gatterer, Matthias Helmreich, Kathrin Hiebler, Marco Jacomella, Panagiota Michailidou, Marion Ott, Sebastian Pajakowski, Poltak Pandjaitan, Jürgen Pauger, Henning Proske, Christian Schwarzwimmer, Miriam Zehnder

Client: Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

Planning team
Structural Engineer: Schwartz Consulting
Construction Management: FFBK Architekten
Building physics and HVAC planner: Raumanzug
Electrical engineering and building automation: Mosimann+Partner
Lighting design: Sommerlatte+Sommerlatte
Fire protection planner: Makiol+Wiederkehr
Facade engineering: Mebatech
Signaletics: iart

Fire protection: Mario Fontana
HVAC and building technology:Urs Rieder
Legal Advisor: Christoph Fritsche

Project DFAB House:
Research: Matthias Kohler, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich; Fabio Gramazio, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich; Benjamin Dillenburger, Digital Building Technologies Group, ETH Zurich; Jonas Buchli, Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab, ETH Zurich; Robert Flatt, Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, ETH Zurich: Joseph Schwartz, Chair of Structural Design, ETH Zurich; Walter Kaufmann, Chair of Structural Engineering - Concrete Structures and Bridge Design, ETH Zurich; Guillaume Habert, Chair of Sustainable Construction, ETH Zurich Architecture
Concept: Matthias Kohler, Konrad Graser
Design and project management: Konrad Graser (Lead), Marco Baur, Sarah Schneider
Contributors: Arash Adel, Aleksandra Anna Apolinarska, Benjamin Dillenburger, Kathrin Dörfler, Rena Giesecke, Fabio Gramazio, Norman Hack, Matthias Helmreich, Andrej Jipa, Matthias Kohler, Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Dr. Mania Aghaei Meibodi, Fabio Scotto, Demetris Shammas, Andreas Thoma

Structural design
Concept: Joseph Schwartz
Project engineer: Marco Bahr
Contributors: Jaime Mata Falcón, Walter Kaufmann, Daniel Rönz, Thomas Wehrle

Client: Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

Planning team Architecture: NCCR Digital Fabrication
General planner: ERNE AG Holzbau
Structural engineering: Schwartz Consulting
Building physics: BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik GmbH
Electrical engineering: Elektro Siegrist HVAC/Sprinkler planner: Häusler Ingenieure
Building technology: Schibli Gebäudetechnik
Lighting design: Sommerlatte & Sommerlatte

NCCR DFAB General management and communications
Managing director: Russell Loveridge
Finances: Blanca Hren
Communications: Dr. Linda Seward, Tanja Coray, Giulia Adagazza, Orkun Kasap

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Biennale Architettura
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