Quiet Assemblies

Shahryar Beyzavi + Lovejeet Gehlot



Tsz Yan Ng


Quiet Assemblies explores concrete masonry systems whereby dry-fit units could cantilever without counterweights, falsework, or use of mortar between elements. Using computational design tools and advanced fabrication techniques, we developed a system of interlocking units that could be assembled by anyone without mechanical tools, hence the name ‘Quiet Assemblies.’

We used a script that would optimize the structure by balancing the bending moment and minimizing the surface area of each member. Principles of vector algebra and 3D graphic statics were used for form development and generating a variable-depth condition. The resultant not only supports the overall structure, but also stays under equilibrium at interim assembly process. A novel interlocking joinery system was developed for a self-supporting cantilever system that does not require falsework for construction. For the overall system to stay under equilibrium, it was important that the resulting moment of all the branches cancel out to zero at the node where they all meet. This enables the structure to be stable on the ground without the need for fixing the structure to anchors.

The form-work for the cast components was designed to be reusable. A two-part mold was developed for the members and a more sophisticated multi part mold was used for the node where all branches meet. The idea is that instead of deploying heavy concrete blocks to the site, we deploy a set of lightweight formwork that could be used to cast multiple units on site. This allows us to significantly reduce the amount of carbon emissions that goes into transporting heavy precast concrete structures. Our final design takes advantage of the cantilevering capabilities of this system to propose the construction of a bridging structure that does not need a spanning scaffold underneath.