The 2018 ACAWorkshop offered industry experts the freedom to collaborate in an exploratory environment – alternately guiding the design of facade solutions and contributing knowledge and experience to focus on the bioclimatic function of terra cotta.
The workshop’s objective focused on introducing and considering the properties of terra cotta earlier in the architect’s design process and to develop research and design models between manufacturing and architectural industries useful to the efficient production of facade solutions.
Methods of study vary from research and experimentation to modeling, rapid prototyping and construction of terra cotta units. With access to Boston Valley’s 3D CAD/CAM technology including RHINO software, CNC machining, and 5-axis routing, as well as their forming capabilities of architectural terra cotta – slip cast, hand press, RAM press and extrusion – participants had a unique opportunity to produce physical prototypes to theoretical studies.
Through pre-design and prototype development, teams’ explorations included the use of new digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, the development of unitized façade systems, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s bioclimatic performance.
The ACAWorkshop culminated in a weeklong event, with teams constructing system models from their prototypes, and presenting their studies to peers in the industry.