Plexe-e by Bartlett students

Masters students from the Bartlett School of Architecture have used cement-covered foam pipes to create Gothic-style arches, columns and furniture. The group used different methods of weaving to wrap the foam tubes together, first by modelling the processes on the computer. A variety of ornamental patterns were then created by wrapping thread around the pipes to create regularly-spaced ball-shaped sections.

The name of the project, Plexe-e, is taken from the Latin word plectere, which means to braid, plait or twine an object. "Weaving is a cross-cultural fabrication technique of crafting that started thousands of years ago," said team member Christina Bali. "The essential purpose of using weaving as a methodology, was to produce a system that supports individual pieces that cannot stand on their own, while are able to support each other," she added.

The group – composed of Christina Bali, Nadiah Shahril and Christiana Tzovla – worked under the tutorship of Daniel Widrig, Stefan Bassing and Soomeen Hahm. The students were tasked with exploring "freehand production and crafting" using computational design. The students created a resin mix that would set the tubes in place while allowing them to remain lightweight. A composite of white concrete was added to the foam to reinforce it, before the structures were sprayed with more concrete to become rigid.

All images: Courtesy of Bartlett School of Architecture