Stereoform Slab by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
1245 W. Fulton Market
Near West Side
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s interdisciplinary research team led by Scott Duncan, 2019
Stereoform Slab is a to-scale prototype of a future building system made using advanced robotic fabrication techniques, illustrating a design method that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete construction. The pavilion replicates and abstracts a single-story concrete bay found in high-rise construction to create a simple architectural expression. Removed from its typical context, the structure exemplifies how digital fabrication can be leveraged in the building industry. The pavilion was designed by SOM’s interdisciplinary research team, and realized through industry partnerships with leading organizations including McHugh Construction, real estate investment and development firm Sterling Bay, Denmark-based Odico Construction Robotics, and Autodesk, an innovator in generative design implementation. Stereoform Slab envisions a more sustainable alternative to the ubiquitous urban concrete slab--the most common element in contemporary construction. With this sustainable fabrication technique of concrete formwork using advanced robotics, the amount of material used and waste generated is minimized, using 20% less concrete and resulting in a 20% carbon reduction than conventional construction. The design of Stereoform Slab expresses a more intelligent allocation of material, evocative of forms in nature. When applied to the entirety of the built environment, this technology can pave the way to a more expressive, sustainable, and innovative future of architecture.