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Real Virtuality – Gilles Retsin Architecture

Gilles Retsin Architecture Combines Timber Construction with Augmented Reality and Automation at the Royal Academy

Gilles Retsin Architecture combines timber construction with Augmented Reality and Automation at the Royal Academy. Exploring how Augmented Reality could be used for fabrication, rather than merely visualisation, Gilles Retsin Architecture used Microsoft’s Hololens to assemble modular timber building blocks in real-time.

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The Hololens overlays a digital model of the envisioned design in the exhibition space, indicating the position of the lego-like blocks and their connections. As the blocks are modular and the design is not fixed, adaptations to the design could be done in real-time.


Each plywood building block consists of a 9mm and 12mm soft plywood sheets that has been CNC-milled in a kit of parts. The elements are then engineered to be able to perform in any structural situation within the installation. In themselves, every element is relatively weak, but the redundant combination of the elements establishes a strong structure. The building blocks are kept together under tension with lateral steel rods placed in specific, repeating connection points between the elements.



Gilles Retsin, Kevin Saey, Johan Wijesinghe

Manja Van de Worp,YIP Structural Engineering London

Kevin Saey, Johan Wijesinghe, Mario Medina, Rida Qurashi, Effie Douroudi, Manuel Montoro, Tanishk Saha, Athina Athiana, Eleana Georgousi, Akhmet Khakimov, Eirini Tsomokou, Evangelia Triantafylla, Vicente Sánchez Seoane, Ming Liu, Po-Fu Yang, Evgenia Krassakopoulou, Ning Zheng, Keshia Lim, Joana Calado Correia, Chuan Tian, Mengmeng Zhao, Pablo Maldonado, Gilles Willems, Nadia Souki, Shuting Guo, YenFen Huang, HungDa Chien, Charles Wu.

On-Site Construction:
Isaie Bloch, Brecht Reynaert, Kevin Saey, Johan Wijesinghe

The Bartlett School of Architecture:
Design Computation Lab:,Mollie Claypool, Manuel Jimenez, Gilles Retsin, Vicente Soler
Bartlett B-Made: Niamh Grace, David Shanks, Mads Peterson, Alex McCann, John Henshaw

Location: London, United Kingdom
Augmented Reality:
Photography: Studio NAARO
With the support of MetsaWood.

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Urban Jungle Vertical Park by Part and KINO – Parametric Architecture

Part Architecture designed Urban Jungle Vertical Park in a collaboration with KINO Landscape Architects at the T1 Mall of Tallinn, Estonia PART architects are cooperating with KINO landscape architects to design a spatial installation in the form of a vertical park in the new gigantic shopping centre T1 in Ülemiste district.

Iridescence Print by Gramazio Kohler Research – Parametric Architecture

GKR’s First Large-Scale Architectural Installation to be Automatically Printed by Robotic Machines | 2015 GKR (Gramazio Kohler Research) is a research group founded by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler. GKR examines the changes in architectural production requirements that result from introducing digital manufacturing techniques. They combine data and material and the resulting implications it has …

About The Author

Hamid Hassanzadeh is an Iranian architect, computational designer, researcher, and speaker. He studied his architecture education in Iran. With eight years of experience in this field, he worked on multiple projects in Iran, Turkey, Russia, Kuwait, and the USA. Early in 2016, he established Parametric Architecture magazine by starting from Instagram. Since then, he interviewed many architects and designers, conducted and supported workshops, organized events and lectures, and globally shared knowledge and information about computational and parametric design tools.

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