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In June 2014, Pedro de Azambuja Varela (Portugal) and Tim Merritt (USA/Denmark) conducted a 2 week workshop with 35 Architecture students focused on learning digital tools of fabrication including CAD (Rhino), Parametric modeling (Grasshopper), and other tools for Digital Stereotomy including a 5-axis waterjet cutter and large format laser cutter.  Many design experiments were conducted including the final 1:1 scale vault made from expanded cork agglomerate.




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plywood vault prototypes


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small scale cork vault prototype

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centering visible during construction of 1:1 scale cork vault

More information

Please visit the project site by Pedro de Azambuja Varela regarding the project as well as the media coverage from DOMUSArchDaily, and Plataforma Arquitectura.

Victor Delaqua. “CorkVault Aarhus / Pedro de Azambuja Varela + Tim Merritt” 16 Nov 2014. ArchDaily Brazil . Accessed Nov 17, 2014 . <>

DOMUS. “CorkVault Aarhus” 7 Nov 2014. DOMUS. Accessed Nov 17, 2014. <>

Plataforma Arquitectura. “CorkVault Aarhus / Pedro de Azambuja Varela + Tim Merritt” [CorkVault Aarhus / Pedro de Azambuja Varela + Tim Merritt] 08 Dec 2014. Accedido el 9 Dic 2014. <>



Merritt, T., Varela, P. de A., Designing and building the cork vault: Reflections on a two-week digital fabrication workshop. In Proceedings of DesignEd Asia Conference, Hong Kong, 2014. 

Download the paper here.