Printing concrete: what once seemed like science fiction is now a reality that opens up a broad spectrum of opportunities thanks to the huge advances in 3D printing. And when engineering and cutting-edge technology come together, we at NFIC are always the first to become involved. This is the case with the Hello, Concrete project, to which we bring our expertise in concrete structures and years of research aimed at developing new construction techniques.
Hello, Concrete is a doctoral research project conducted by Joris Burger, a member of the Gramazio Kohler group at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich). For this occasion, Joris teamed up with several international postgraduate architecture students from ETH and with Nicolas Fehlmann Ingénieurs Conseils.
As a partner in the project, our firm brings its engineering perspective to both the design and implementation phases. We actively interact with the students and doctoral researchers through conferences and discussions. We also give them valuable advice that will later be applied on the structure.
The result of this collaboration is an exhibition pavilion that is as elegant in its aesthetics as it is innovative in its design. Consisting of an assembly of slender columns made of prefabricated elements, Hello, Concrete is a landmark example of the potential of 3D printing applied to concrete constructions.
The project employs robotic 3D printing technology for the formwork and fast-curing concrete in the pouring phase. Here the use of 3D printing reveals an infinite range of possibilities: it allows complex elements in a non-standardised design to be manufactured in an efficient manner. This technology is also very effective in terms of sustainability, as it allows savings to be made in the quantity of materials used. As certain prototypes have shown, some structures can be manufactured with up to 50% less material!
The Hello, Concrete pavilion will be on display on the campus of the Vitra Design Museum in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, as part of an exhibition exploring the interaction between robots and humans. The Vitra Museum is a very famous campus to which the world’s leading architectural firms have contributed, from Frank Gehry to Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA, Zaha Hadid and Carsten Höller. Such an innovative project deserved such a setting.
In association with several renowned offices, NFIC was awarded the contract for the Aigle-Leysin railway line expansion project. This particular railway engineering project asserts our ambitions in this sector and demonstrates, once again, how important sustainable development is to us.
Pushing the boundaries also means constantly exploring new avenues of approach and new ideas. With Hello, Concrete, NFIC is helping to create an exhibition pavilion made entirely of 3D printed concrete. An extraordinary project to be experienced in the prestigious setting of the Vitra Design Museum.
On 3 September, the Beaulieu Theatre revealed its new face after a three-year renovation. This long-term project is part of a much larger conversion in which NFIC made a significant contribution. The kind of challenge we relish!
When NFIC's know-how is combined with an ecological and participatory approach, you can be sure the result will be something special! Welcome to the 2000-Watt Site at Églantine in Morges, a visionary project in which we are particularly proud to have played a part.
To mark its 25th anniversary in style, NFIC is celebrating with three very tall candles! The engineering company concludes the year by winning two daring projects including three emblematic towers.
The entire NFIC team was in China for a team-building event like no other.
Several of our employees participated in the 49th New York City Marathon in November 2019.
After being unveiled in Basel, the giant pencil made by NFIC was installed as a venue for concerts and performances in the heart of Zurich.
Congratulations to Loïc Devenoge and Noah Luinetti, who successfully obtained their CFC qualification in civil draughting.
New system uses floor vibrations to detect building occupants
Our firm is through to the second round of the competition organised by the City of Geneva.
NFIC is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. A quarter of a century dedicated to pushing the boundaries with imagination.