Composite Bodies

CCA Advanced Studio, Spring 2010
Posts Tagged ‘Rael San Fratello’

The Planter Brick

The planter brick wall is designed to be a combination of traditional masonry units combined with units that can hold plants and vegetation. The planter bricks have the potential to counter the heat island effect in big cities through evapotranspiration and pollution conversion and by the light, reflective color of the bricks. Additionally, edible plants such as rosemary and other fragrant herbs with shallow root systems may be planted in the bricks and accessed through openings in the wall. The plants in the bricks will help mediate the temperature of the microclimate surrounding the building, buffer sound and filter the air. The plants held in the planter bricks will be fed water and nutrients through drip irrigation lines that are built into the cavity of the masonry wall. The indentations in the bricks that allow for irrigation act much like weep holes allowing  water and nutrient to move through a network of continuous drip irrigation tubes that run within the cavity of  the masonry wall. The water for the irrigation may be pumped up from below or gravity fed from a cistern or water collection device on the roof. The planter bricks are made by direct digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology. Ceramic particles are printed and held together using an organic binder and then fired in a kiln just like traditional bricks.  The bricks may be assembled in a load bearing cavity wall condition or installed as a  traditional masonry curtain wall would be on a steel or concrete frame building and can be  installed new or retrofitted. The planter bricks are 3D printed using direct digital manufacturing . The bricks are modeled in a 3D software application and the digital file is sent directly to the 3D printer for  manufacture. This means a very diverse and infinitely unique selection of bricks can be manufactured based on the clients or designers desires for a particular application. The bricks are manufactured with clay instead of more ephemeral powders that are typically used for rapid prototyping . The 3d clay prints are then bisque fired at cone 5 and glazed to make them waterproof.

Project Date: 2009
Project Credits: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Molly Reichert
Additional Information: The Planter Brick was exhibited the Exit Art Vertical Gardens exhibit


Night Garden

Check out this great research seminar and commissioned project by Ronald Rael and his students at Berkeley. Using CNC milled plaster, slipcast porcelain forms were fabricated. The first part of the project explored the possibilities of this technique in relation to tiling patterns while the second part of the project focused on the installation of the Night Garden, a wall composed of LED lights, water-filled vessels, and porcelain tiles. The Night Garden is a commissioned work by Rael San Fratello Architects and installed at DesCours in New Orleans.

Project Credits
Project Date: 2009
Project Team: Rael San Fratello Architects: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello; University of California Architecture Graduate Students: Christopher Dehenzel, Yes Duffy, Natalia Echeverri, John Faichney, Timothy Kim, Magic Kwan, Kin Lam, Qingyue Li, Adriana Navarro-Sertich, Matthew Smith; Ceramics Lab Technician: Ehren Tool; Ceramics Professor: Richard Shaw; Architecture Shop Superintendent: Paul Morrison; Architecture Shop Technician: Chris Lesnett