A flexible mold for double curved precast concrete elements

 The manufacturing of double curved precast concrete elements is still expensive, due to the high costs and limited possibilities for repetitive use of the molds or formwork. The goal of a PhD project recently initiated at TU Delft is to develop a production method that overcomes these difficulties by enabling the mold to be used many times and by making the shape of the mold adjustable in a flexible way. This article describes the research goal and method of this PhD project.

Freeform architecture is gradually gaining market share in everyday building practice. Until recently freeform shapes and, more in general, complex geometries were merely designed either in an academic context or in top budget buildings designed by famous architects. In Germany freeform architecture examples are for instance: Der Neue Zollhof in Düsseldorf (Fig. 1), which is made in precast concrete, the Mercedes-BenzMuseum in Stuttgart and BMW Welt in München in cast in situ concrete. In Spain it is for instance the -in mean time famous- Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, with the façade made in...

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