Last week at the RTU School of Architecture, an intensive course was held that was adapted to the format of the Blended Intensive Programs (BIP), which was developed within the EUT+ network.
This course was organized by the staff of the school of architecture (Antra Viļuma, Egons Bērziņš, and Sabīne Baltaisbrence, mainly), but has been taught and directed by professors and researchers from the School of Architecture and Building of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Martino Peña Fernandez Serrano and Pedro García Martínez).
The course focus was on the design and construction of deployable structures, a subject on which both Spanish architects have been working for some years.
Thanks to their previous experience, the student participants, who hail from different schools of architecture belonging within the EUT+ network, such as the Technological University Dublin (Ireland), Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Spain) and Riga Technical University (Latvia) were able to build a full-scale set of three wooden deployable arches—in only five days!
The professors involved have held similar workshops across the globe, in places like Germany, India and Taiwan, with very positive outcomes. The course was divided into two parts: first, the students were provided with the necessary theoretical information to understand the most important design principles, based on the discoveries of Spanish architects and deployable structure pioneers such as Emilio Pérez Piñero and Félix Escrig. Next, the students began the design and fabrication process, using digital means, the knots, and the primary structure parts, on a reduced scale before using a real scale.
In this case, three wooden folding arches of 5m span and 2.5m height, each consisting of 10 folding modules, were produced. These three wooden arches are now located in the courtyard of RTU’s School of Architecture—and serve as not only an example of RTU’s commitment to great sustainability, but as a material testimony that introduces new students to the exciting world of deployable structures.
The project also served as an experiment for the professors involved and as a unique learning experience for the students: (Marta Katarzyna Kociołek, Grasielle Martins, Dora Kralj, Aleksander Domaradzki from TU-Dublin, Paul David Mäder, Tom Lovric, Luis Enrique Pommerening, Alexander Schmid from Darmstadt, Leontina Maria Pop, Raluca-Maria Petrovai, Georgiana Condurachi, Alexandra Tesileanu, Istvan Simofi from TUCN, Luis Ortega Escalona, Paloma Gomez Del baño, Alejandro Martínez Vera, Victoria López Maiquez, Ana Noguera Navarro from UPCT, and Linda Daugule and Dina Aleksandroviča from RTU).