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CEMEX Collaborates with Young Architects to Make Student Design a Concrete Reality

Date published: Jun 18, 2015
  • Collaboration with Syracuse University School of Architecture leads to class project built with CEMEX specialty concrete.
  • Summer studio held at the facilities of the CEMEX Research Group (CRG) in Switzerland emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between design and materiality.

CEMEX Collaborates with University to Turn Student Design into Concrete Reality

CEMEX has been reaching out to customers who can also be key collaborators that will contribute to defining the future of construction materials. In late 2014, a great opportunity came about when CRG was presented to a group of professors and their students from Syracuse University School of Architecture.

After a visit to our CRG Global Center for Technology and Innovation in Switzerland, professors Julie Larsen and Roger Hubeli approached CEMEX with an exciting project. The proposal consisted in the modern re-interpretation of an ancient technique for decorating columns known as fluting. The project posed interesting and very enticing challenges in terms of materials design – a lightweight, high-strength, and ductile material that is able to capture the intricate, digitally-fabricated patterns and requirements for a massive-scale construction process.

The CEMEX team, consisting of Davide Zampini, Head of CEMEX Research Group, and Alexandre Guerini, Product Development & Industrialization Director for CRG, and Professors Hubeli and Larsen went to the drawing board to develop a material that would fulfill the “dreams” of the architects. The construction of the “tower of tiles,” as they dubbed it, demonstrated the importance of the collaboration between designers and materials engineers.

Digitalization and 3D printing enables the architects to rapidly create small-scale tangible models of their forms and texture, whereas construction materials innovators, like CEMEX, bring the possibility to introduce concrete with novel and tailor-designed properties.

The interactions between CEMEX engineers and the architects led to the design, molding, and execution of the tiles, which were then drilled and mounted on a wooden frame to create the tower that was constructed around an existing column.

CEMEX fosters collaborations with architects, because they inspire and constantly challenge the possibilities to develop cutting-edge concrete technology. As a continuation of these efforts, CEMEX recently hosted a Summer Studio from Syracuse University at CRG. In the class, professors Larsen and Hubeli emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between design and materiality – understanding how to select materials that can fulfill designs.

This experience was enriching to both parties, helping both sides to understand each other’s perspectives, needs, and challenges, and making both parties stronger collaborators, and innovators, as a result.

CEMEX Collaborates with University to Turn Student Design into Concrete Reality CEMEX Collaborates with University to Turn Student Design into Concrete Reality CEMEX Collaborates with University to Turn Student Design into Concrete Reality

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.


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