Reinterpreting the CMU
Reinterpreting the CMU block has been a recurring challenge proposed by Professor Jim Nicholls within his course Construction Materials and Assemblies. This take on the CMU block, designed and built by Andrew Thies, Chris Garland, and Victor Velarde , works within the 8” x 8’’ x 16” confines of a standard CMU but attempts to create a structural concrete shingled system. The final blocks overlap both vertically and horizontally. In this way the blocks can be interlocked, stacked and fitted quickly, precisely and without the use of mortar. The ultimate goal is that the concrete system could provide good protection from weather infiltration while creating a repeating pattern of shadow and reveal.
During the construction of the block it was important that only one form work was created and reused. This insured that attention was paid to economy of production, durability and repeatability.
Written by Christopher Garland, MArch Candidate 2013