March 15th, 2007
Episode 14 of 626 episodes
The Gantenbein Winery, in Fläsch, Switzerland, has been the prototype for an entirely new approach to bricklaying: using modified industrial robots. Traditionally, the promise of industrial robots has been that they would replace the human workforce. But these projects, led by the Architecture and Digital Fabrication laboratory at ETH Zürich, demonstrate a different result: architects are free to create designs and patterns of a precision that simply could not be achieved by hand. Monocle spoke to Professors Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, who have been collaborating on the project with partners Keller AG and Bearth & Deplazes, about what it means for both building and buildings, and the industry's initial reaction to a prospective army of robot builders.