Filament Tower explores computational design and robotic fabrication of lightweight fiber composite structures for architectural applications. The project explores new methods of design and fabrication in order to incorporate the use of these performative materials in architectural design resulting in more material-efficient and sustainable construction practices for the future. The tower will stand at over 30 ft. tall and cover an area of 85 square feet. It will consist of 27 adaptively wound, multi-nodal glass and carbon fiber components, which serve as the foundation for the structure and seating for visitors.

Collaborators:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Manufacturing Demonstration Facility

Format Engineers Ltd.

Fiber and Composite Manufacturing Facility

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Development, Fabrication and Construction: Shane Principe, Sarah Wheeler, Courtney St. John, Alex Stiles, Nadin Jabri, Geng Liu, Pete Paueksakon, Tyler Sanford, Michaela Stanfill, Michael Mckever , Michael Swartz, Hollywood Conrad, Teig Dryden, Howard Fugitt, Kristia Bravo, Bridget Ash, Kevin Saslawsky, Michael Vineyard, Zane Smith, Josh Mangers, Patrick Dobronski, Joe Gauspohl and with the support of Craig Gillam and the UTK Fablab.

Sponsors

University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design

Teijin Carbon

Owens Corning

Techmer PM

McLube

SGL Carbon

Hutch and Kevina Schumaker

Marshall Prado is an assistant professor of design and structural technology at the University of Tennessee, and doctoral candidate at the Institute of Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart. Prado researches the integration of computation and fabrication techniques into material systems and spatial design strategies.

Marshall has previously taught at Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart, where he is currently working on a doctorate on robotic fabrication of fiber composite structure in architecture. He has has been an invited studio critic at the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Michigan and the Wentworth Institute of Technology and has led several workshops on digital design and fabrication techniques.

The city of Columbus has a rich architectural history, one that is filled with modernist treasures and “cutting-edge” design. These buildings showcase how novel architectural ideas and design exploration can strengthen a city, providing a robust, diverse, performative and sustainable urban environment.

Viewed from the outside, North Christian Church mediates between earth and sky, and at first glance appears to be rising from the ground. The building’s form features an interplay of receding and extruding angles that meld into angled roof lines and lead to the iconic spire. Both the building, Eero Saarinen’s last before his death in 1961, and Dan Kiley’s landscape, were recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 2000.