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Issue 4.2

Porous Mass: Terra-Cotta Redefined Through Advanced Fabrication

Terra-Cotta Grotto prototype tests the bioclimatic conditioning and experiential qualities of a porous mass by digitally carving out walls from a stack of terra-cotta rain screen panels. The project explores engagement with ambient flows and ecological context through a heavy yet porous material assembly. This thick assembly uses the resilient and responsive properties of architectural ceramic materials and the hidden form of the ubiquitous unit of architectural terra-cotta rain screen panels to create an enclosing volume. Taking the traditional grotto as a bioclimatic model, this paper introduces two drivers for the project: the material properties derived from terra-cotta and the application of a CAMel plug-in interface for an OMAX waterjet as the technical facilitator for form making.

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