The stone pavilion by AAU Anastas and Laboratoire GSA unites digital fabrication with available know-hows in a peripheral zone of the culturally marginal city of Jericho, Palestine.
Palestine suffers of a misuse of stone as a structural material: while it was an abundant material used for structural purposes in the past, it is now used as a cladding material only and the know-how of stone building is disappearing. The research aims at including stone stereotomy – the processes of cutting stones – construction processes in contemporary architecture.
It relies on novel computational simulation and fabrication techniques in order to present a modern stone construction technique as part of a local and global architectural language. Stone matters is built on an innovative construction principle allowing for unprecedented forms for such structures. The architectural innovation is born from structural morphology and stereotomy.
The vault covers a surface of 60 m2 and spans 7 meters with a constant depth of 12 cm. The geometry follows the shape of a minimal surface on which geodesic lines are drawn and set the pattern of the interlocking stones. The whole structure is made of 300 mutually supported unique stone pieces.
Beyond the scientific and technical issues that make Stonematters a unique object, the project represents as well a cultural challenge: it has been entirely built with available know-hows in a peripheral zone of the culturally marginal city of Jericho. Processes of several factories have been combined in order to use existing known techniques for new uses. Through the understanding of Palestinian historical cities the research tries to link techniques of constructions to urban morphologies. It puts a non-hierarchical hypothetical link between the scale of stereotomy and the scale of urban fabric. In that context, the idea is to suggest new urban morphologies linked to the scienti c use of a largely available material in Palestine.
Stone Matters, Jericho
Architecture: AAU Anastas
Research lab: Scales and GSA Lab
Area: 60 sqm