• 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.

Please request to attend the in-person Symposium,
or watch the virtual presentation on Zoom (August 15, 2024, 12PM est).

Select below:

PROFESSIONAL TEAMS

Arup

Arup 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

with Transsolar, Knippers Helbig, and TriPyramid

In order to confront one of the most critical climate threats, the urban heat island effect, team Behnisch Architekten is creating a façade prototype that explores the potential of terracotta to improve thermal comfort in the public realm through evaporative cooling. Drawing on the sculptural traditions of terracotta ornamentation, as well as the vernacular of the shingle roof tile, the team reconsiders the façade rainscreen to not shed water, but to store it and use it to cool the increasing temperatures of surfaces of our built environment.

Ennead Architects, LLP

with Werner Sobek NY

The Ennead team’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

with Arup

The Make Architects 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

Team Pelli Clarke & Partners proposes to advance research addressing the increasing need for durable outdoor/urban furniture, extending architectural design for indoor/outdoor workspaces and play places.

In addition to continuing with slip cast methods studied in 2022, to better accommodate self-supporting terra cotta fabrications in-the-round, the team is aiming to advance the design with greater variations in module shapes and to specifically include accommodations for:

  • Modular fastening and securing systems
  • Integrated lighting
  • Planting

For the surface glaze, the team is studying warm, lustered bronze, alluding to traditional bronze figures and sculptures that animate many of the world’s most celebrated urban landscapes.

Superkül Architects

SuperKül‘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

Thornton Tomasetti

Team 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

with Walter P Moore

Team UNStudio 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.
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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