See how Joseph Choma built the “Chakrasana” arch using his fiberglass folding technique | News | Archinect

Design Topology Lab founder Joseph Choma continues to put his fiberglass hand-folding technique to the test in a new larger scale structure called “Chakrasana”, which is currently on display at Clemson University, where Choma is an architecture professor.

Weighing in at only 400 pounds, the accordion arch pavilion was designed, fabricated by hand, and installed by Choma and a team of four people within 30 days. Design Topology Lab further explains their fabrication process below: Fibreglass Tape

“Similar to paper folding, the process begins with a crease pattern composed of mountain and valley folds. Two 54 yard long rolls of 33.3" fiberglass cloth were stitched together using a full flat felled seam to create one continuous 32' 10" x 21' 9" sheet, with zero material waste. All the edges were precisely sewn to prevent sharp, rough or frayed edges. Using a painter's masking tape, a crease pattern was drawn on the fabric surface. The intricate pattern was composed of a total of 875 folds, where each accordion fold had a depth of 5".”

“All the planar portions of the structure were then painted with resin. After the resin cured, the tape was removed and the structure was folded and compressed into less than a 12" width. The flat-packed structure was then easily carried by four individuals and transported to the site. A light scaffolding was constructed on the site in one day. Then, the folded fiberglass was placed above the scaffolding with a team of five.”

“After another day of applying resin to each of the creases, the scaffolding was removed, resulting in an extremely thin, lightweight structure, spanning 16'. This research suggests a means for fiberglass to transition from being a secondary component to a primary building material.”

You can check out Choma's fiberglass folding technique in action below.

Project details: Project Name: Chakrasana Firm: Design Topology Lab Designer / Principal Investigator: Joseph Choma Team: William Marshall, Claire Hicks, Sarah Nail, Joseph Scherer Completion Year: 2017 Dimensions: 16' x 12' x 12.5' Project Location: Lowry Hall Courtyard in Clemson, SC

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