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Tue 29.11.

Flight Assembled Architecture Installation at FRAC by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea in collaboration with ETH Zurich (CH)

Posted by Susanne Fritz on 29.11.2011 - Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Flight Assembled Architecture © Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea in cooperation with ETH Zurich


Flight Assembled Architecture is the first installation to be built by flying machines. Conceived as an architectural structure at a scale of a 600 m high “vertical village”, the installation addresses radical new ways of thinking and materializing architecture as a physical process of dynamic formation. Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea developed a powerful expression of cutting-edge innovation that uses a multitude of mobile agents working in parallel and acting together as scalable production means.


Flight Assembled Architecture © Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea in cooperation with ETH Zurich

Those are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble small modules in order to erect a building structure that synthesizes a rigorous architectural approach by Gramazio & Kohler and a visionary autonomous system design by Raffaello D’Andrea. The FRAC Centre chose to associate with their approach. The aim was to initiate a unique installation and be able to include the result in its collection of experimental architecture. Moreover, this is the first collaborative project by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea and will be exclusively exhibited at the FRAC Centre, Orléans, which hosts and also coproduces the project.


Flying machines assemble an architectural model, which is 6m high and 3,5m in diameter, made up of 1500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules


Raffaello D’Andrea is professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He also is technical co-founder and chief technology advisor for Kiva Systems, a Boston area high-tech company that has developed a revolutionary material handling system utilizing hundreds of fully autonomous mobile robots. He was the faculty advisor and system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team, four-time world champions at the international RoboCup competition in Sweden, Australia, Italy, and Japan.

Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler are architects with multi-disciplinary interests ranging from computational design and robotic fabrication to material innovation.

The architectural model is made up of 1500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules

Following an initial phase lasting several days and dedica- ted to the assembly by flying machines of a model stan- ding 6m high and 3,5m in diameter–made up of 1500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules–, the exhibition will feature a “megastructure” in its completed form, along with a film documenting the airborne assembly and all as- pects of the exhibition.

Free shuttle from Paris on the opening day/ vernissage; reservations at: T– 02 38 62 52 00
FRAC Centre 12 rue de la Tour Neuve 45 000 Orléans
Free admission.
Mon–Fri 10am–12am and 2pm–6pm. Week-ends and holidays, 2pm–6pm. Guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm. Closed on Christmas Day 2011 and New Year’s Day 2012.

Flying Robot which assembles the structure

Visualisation of the digital fabrication project ‘Flight Assembled Architecture’ by Gramazio Kohler and Raffaelo d’Andrea




Gramazio & Kohler’s profile on

ETHZ Architecture & Digital Production

Raffaelo d’Andrea Creative Design & Control of Autonomous Systems

ETHZ Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control

FRAC Centre