• ACAW 2024 — August 12-15

    PRESENTED BY:

    ACAW 2024 Applications, ACAWorkshop, Facade Prototype, Ceramic Assembly, Terra Cotta, Eric Parry Architects

2024 ARCHITECTURAL CERAMIC ASSEMBLIES WORKSHOP

Celebrating its ninth year, this unique workshop invites professionals from the architectural industry to explore innovative building solutions and further their understanding of architectural terra cotta for large-scale assemblies.

PROFESSIONAL TEAMS

Arup

The Arup team is examining global issues in façade design. The most glaring is the need for substantial metalwork to support terra cotta and masonry façades, without using costly and carbon-intensive steel and aluminum.

Instead, can a pretensioned façade system be designed which allows terra cotta to span between floor slabs, eliminating the usual mass of rails and brackets? Or a load-bearing masonry façade structure for low- to medium-rise buildings, that avoids the need for miles of stainless steel masonry support angles at every floor?

Behnisch Architekten

Team Behnisch Architekten is researching a holistic system to encourage urban vegetation through a planted façade system that is economical, scalable, sustainable, and social. They will offer a prototype for a modular shelving system made of terra cotta units that can be integrated into the balconies of buildings. This would provide space for people to have an outdoor garden that would function seasonally, and leverage the thermal and molecular benefits of terra cotta for evaporative cooling.

Ennead Architects, LLP

Ennead’s design exploration converges at the crossroads of functionality and aesthetics, charting a course to reimagine terra cotta’s role in an energy-efficient building envelope. By integrating evaporative cooling terra cotta modules into a lightweight suspension system, the proposed design departs from the conventional ground-up systems that demand massive structural support.

This suspension system demonstrates resource productivity by introducing a remarkable reduction in material and weight without compromising the functionality and efficacy of the building skin. The modular nature of this system offers great versatility, allowing it to adapt to diverse building geometries with infinite expandability.

Make Architects + Arup

The Make Architects + Arup team is interested in harvesting rainwater falling on unexploited urban facades, by unlocking the potential of the inherent material properties of terra cotta. This new façade typology aims to mitigate climate extremes, like stormwater flash flooding, through exploring by design the ways we can capture, retain, and finally treat water to reuse it.

Stretching the boundaries of unglazed terra cotta, by experimenting with the material’s porosity, surface roughness, saturation levels and evaporation time, could lead to innovative design paths, that offer competitive low-embodied carbon solutions.

Pelli Clarke & Partners

Pelli Clarke proposes research for ACAW 2024 that builds upon their 2022 research to address the increasing need for durable outdoor/urban furniture.

The study will focus on refinements to their 2022 modular terra cotta seating, with modular elements that can define and support outdoor space and activities. In addition to continuing with slip cast methods to better accommodate self-supporting terracotta fabrications in-the-round, they are interested in the possibility of using extruded components, independently or in tandem.

Specifically, Pelli Clarke proposes to advance the designs by including a modular fastening and securing system, integrated lighting, sound, power, with possibility of integrated radiant heating/cooling.

Superkül Architects

The SuperKül team’s proposal, in partnership with Boston Valley, is set to transform facade design by combining TerraPreCast® with their advanced 4-axis wire cutter. Their aim is to create dynamic, sculptural facades that not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also engage with light and shadow, forming visually stimulating experiences throughout the day.

Precision-cut terra cotta elements will assemble into cohesive, nature- and geometry-inspired patterns, dynamically shifting with sunlight to create an evolving shadow play. The combination with the TerraPreCast® allows for a scalable approach that is designed for efficient, yet detailed, application on full building facades.

Touzet Studio

Touzet Studio is interested in expanding the use of terra cotta in South Florida, as they continue to look for cladding that can withstand its increasing heat and humidity. The region is witnessing increasing delamination of materials in traditional applications of stone and stucco, but the carbon footprint associated with using concrete for cladding is concerning.

The team is aiming to develop a light-colored, heat-resistant terra cotta cladding solution that could be used at-scale on a new high rise project. They are also very interested in brise soleil designs for use in non-ac outdoor spaces, that allow for breezes and shield from the sun. Both cases are modular solutions that can be disassembled in the event of retreat or sea level rise, but are still attached securely enough to satisfy building codes.

UNStudio + Walter P Moore

Team UNStudio + Walter P Moore proposes to research and innovate terra cotta as a façade material in the context of reducing embodied and operational carbon. Their point of departure is the ceramic cladding system developed by UNS for the Wasl Tower (UAE, exp. 2024).

The investigation proposed will occur in three areas:

  • Passive cooling: How can 3-D terra cotta elements be designed to encourage local wind and micro-turbulence along the building’s skin, thus reducing surface temperatures?
  • Deflection of solar radiation: How can the technology of UNS-patented paint The Coolest White (CH, 2019) be adapted into a ceramic glaze system?
  • Reduction of embodied carbon: The Wasl tower ceramic fins are mounted in a casing of aluminum. Reducing the reliance on this material for the cladding system is a team goal.

ACADEMIC TEAMS

TEAM 4

Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

TEAM 5

NSCAD University + Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

ACAW 2023, ACAWorkshop, Facade Prototype, Ceramic Assembly, Terra Cotta, Henning Larsen

DISCOVER WHAT’S POSSIBLE

Participating teams in ACAW 2024 will have the exceptional opportunity to collaborate closely with Boston Valley Terra Cotta’s experts to conceptualize and design an assembly mockup utilizing architectural terra cotta.

This intensive and immersive process spans the course of eight months, allowing teams to gain in-depth insights into the tolerances, capabilities, strengths, and limitations of this resilient material.

Read the official ACAW 2024 press release here.

WORKSHOP TIMELINE

The ACAW experience begins in January 2024, as teams embark on a series of weekly Design Charette Meetings. Through pre-design and prototype research and development, teams will explore innovative digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish, and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

By the end of March 2024, participating teams will have honed their designs for the proposed assemblies to be prepared for fabrication.

ACAW 2023, ACAWorkshop, Facade Prototype, Ceramic Assembly, Terra Cotta, RIOS
ACAW 2023, ACAWorkshop, Facade Prototype, Ceramic Assembly, Terra Cotta, RIOS

WORKSHOP TIMELINE

The ACAW experience begins in January 2024, as teams embark on a series of weekly Design Charette Meetings. Through pre-design and prototype research and development, teams will explore innovative digital tools in the production of terra cotta assemblies, and how the variable materiality of terra cotta (through-body color, finish, and glaze) can inform and enhance a façade’s performance.

By the end of March 2024, participating teams will have honed their designs for the proposed assemblies to be prepared for fabrication.

ACAW 2023, ACAWorkshop, Facade Prototype, Ceramic Assembly, Terra Cotta, ZGF Architects

The culminating event of ACAW 2024 will take place during the week of August 12-15, 2024, in the architecturally rich city of Buffalo, New York.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta will graciously host the 4-day conference, providing a dynamic environment for teams to assemble their mockups and present their research findings to a distinguished audience of architects, designers, and industry leaders.

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