Control of Autonomous Systems

Flying robots will assemble a six metre-high tower at the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France, next month. Created by Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea, the mobile machines will lift, transport and assemble 1500 polystyrene foam bricks to build a 3.5 metre wide structure. Image FRAC Centre

Control of Autonomous Systems

The installation will be on show from 2 December 2011 to 19 February 2012.

Gramazio & Kohler previously used a robot called R-O-B to build a looping wall in New York and the award-winning Structural Oscillations installation at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Control of Autonomous Systems


FRAC Centre

Gramazio & Kohler

Raffaello D’Andrea

From the architects:

From December 2, 2011, to February 19, 2012, the FRAC Centre presents Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello d’Andrea, Flight Assembled Architecture, the first installation to be built by flying machines.

In 2011, Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea started to develop a pioneering approach on dynamic material formation and machine behaviour.

Belonging to the generation of young architects aiming at using the full potential of digital design and fabrication, Gramazio & Kohler joined with Raffaello D’Andrea whose work addresses ground-breaking autonomous systems design and algorithms.

Together, they started to explore the possibilities of a revolutionary assembly apparatus and reveal with their collaboration unseen spatial and structural articulations based on the innovation of Flight Assembled Architecture.

Conceived as an architectural structure at a scale of a 600 m high “vertical village”, the installation addresses radical new ways of thinking and materializing architecture as a physical process of dynamic formation.

Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea developed a powerful expression of cutting-edge innovation that uses a multitude of mobile agents working in parallel and acting together as scalable production means.

Those are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble small modules in order to erect a building structure that synthesizes a rigorous architectural approach by Gramazio & Kohler and a visionary autonomous system design by Raffaello D’Andrea.

The FRAC Centre chose to associate with their approach. The aim was to initiate a unique installation and be able to include the result in its collection of experimental architecture.

Moreover, this is the first collaborative project by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea and will be exclusively exhibited at the FRAC Centre, Orléans.

Following an initial phase lasting several days and dedicated to the assembly by flying machines of a model standing 6 m high and 3,5 m in diameter– made up of 1500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules –,
the exhibition will feature a “megastructure” in its completed form, along with a film documenting the airborne assembly and all aspects of the exhibition.

Additional lecture by Gramazio & Kohler on their architectural works, organized by the Centre culturel suisse in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Centre Pompidou, December 2, 2011, 7 pm.

An exhibition catalogue (English/French bilingual), Flight Assembled Architecture by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea, FRAC Centre coll., will be published by HYX, Orléans in February 2012.