In an effort to improve upon the carbon footprint of the ubiquitous flat plate, the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Odense, Denmark–based formwork robotics firm Odico jumped straight to revolutionizing the form of the slab itself. They then demonstrated the potential of their innovation—Stereoform Slab—in a full-scale prototype.
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The resulting 70-foot-long, 24-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall pavilion, a potential module in a multistory structure, was erected in less than a week by a concrete contractor and uses 20% less concrete than a conventional slab with the same load capacity, according to SOM and Odico. The expressiveness of the structure adds to the Stereoform Slab’s appeal, Duncan says: “Our clients are drawn to the authenticity of exposed ceilings, higher ceiling heights, and the loft aesthetic.”