The Fabric Formwork Book: Methods for Building New Architectural and Structural Forms in Concrete, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Fabric Formwork Book

Methods for Building New Architectural and Structural Forms in Concrete, 1st Edition

By Mark West


298 pages | 398 Color Illus.

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Concrete is the most used man-made material in the world and is the fundamental physical medium for most of the world’s architecture and construction. The character of concrete is largely the product of the rigid moulds that have shaped it since its invention in antiquity. The advent of flexible moulds, however, marks a radical break from conventional practice – and conventional concrete architecture. The Fabric Formwork Book provides the first comprehensive handbook on the emerging technology of flexible moulds for reinforced concrete architecture.

Written by the foremost expert in the field, this book takes a comprehensive and generous approach that includes technical, historical and theoretical aspects of the subject. The book:

  • concentrates on simple flat-sheet formworks
  • contains detailed technical descriptions of how to construct a wide range of formworks for various applications
  • features case studies from around the world
  • critiques the difficulties and advantages in each case it covers
  • provides instruction and guidance on how to model and design fabric-formed structures
  • includes the most comprehensive history of fabric formwork yet published
  • features essays from guest expert authors, which explore the theoretical, historical, and poetic significance of flexibly formed architecture and structures
  • discusses fabric formwork as an exemplary approach to sustainable construction through its simplicity and efficiency.

Beautifully designed and illustrated with a superb range of images, diagrams and technical drawings, the book both informs and inspires. Speaking directly and plainly to professionals, students and academics, the language used is both clear and precise, and care is taken to avoid opaque technical or academic jargon. Technical terms, when used, are clearly described and a special glossary is included to make the book as widely accessible as possible.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. List of Credits. Part 1: About Flexible Formworks Introduction. 1. On Flexibility 2. A History of Fabric Formwork Diederik Veenendaal 3. The Structural Intelligence of Flexible Materials Edward Allen, John Ochsendorf and Mark West Part 2: Construction Introduction. 4. Textiles 5. Concrete 6. Connections Mark West and Ronnie Araya 7. Tips and Tricks 8. Cast-in-Place Column Moulds 9. Cast-in-Place Wall Moulds 10. Open Trough Moulds 11. Non-Pressurized Moulds Mark West and Ronnie Araya 12. Truss and Branching Forms Glossary. Bibliography. Web Resources. Index

About the Author

Mark West is an artist, builder, professor of architecture, and inventor of numerous flexible mould techniques for concrete construction. He was the founding Director of the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST) at the University of Manitoba, and is currently a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as teaching at other schools of architecture and engineering internationally.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Methods & Materials
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice