Rocky Vault Pavilion: A Free-Form Building Process with High Onsite Flexibility and Acceptable Accumulative Error

  • Chengyu SunEmail author
  • Zhaohua Zheng
Conference paper


As huge flexibilities occur on the real construction site, participation of human builders is still necessary even if the project is carried out with a high level of digital fabrication technology. Unpredictable onsite issues are impossible to be completely programmed into the computer, but it can be perfectly solved with human builders’ skills and experience. In this paper, a fabrication project –namely Rocky Vault Pavilion– uses a hybrid fabrication paradigm to take advantage of both the human manual operation and real time computer guidance in an onsite free-form building project through a cycling human-computer interactive process. The demonstration uses a Hololens-Kinect system in a framework of typical project-camera. As human builders perceive, decide, and operate the irregular foam bricks in a complex onsite environment, the computer will keep updating the current free-form through 3D scanning and prompt the position and orientation of the next brick through augmented display. From a starting vault, the computer always fine tunes its control surface according to the bricks installed gradually and keeps following a catenary formula. Thus, the hybrid fabrication actually benefits from the flexibility of human judgements and operations, and an acceptable accumulative error through computer guidance concerning the structural performance and formal accuracy.


Computer aided architectural design Human-computer interaction Mixed reality 



This study is supported by the National Key Research & Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0700200) and a project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51778417).


  1. Bock, T.: Construction robotics. Auton. Robots 22(3), 201–209 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dörfler, K., Sandy, T., Giftthaler, M., Gramazio, F., Kohler, M., Buchli, J.: Mobile robotic brickwork. In: Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016, pp. 204–217. Springer International Publishing (2016)Google Scholar
  3. Reiners, D., Stricker, D., Klinker, G., Müller, S.: Augmented reality for construction tasks: doorlock assembly. Proc. IEEE ACM IWAR 98(1), 31–46 (1998)Google Scholar
  4. Tang, A., Owen, C., Biocca, F., Mou, W.: Comparative effectiveness of augmented reality in object assembly. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 73–80. ACM (2003)Google Scholar
  5. Yoshida, H., Igarashi, T., Obuchi, Y., Takami, Y., Sato, J., Araki, M., Miki, M., Nagata, K., Sakai, K., Igarashi, S.: Architecture-scale human-assisted additive manufacturing. ACM Trans. Graph. (TOG) 34(4), 88 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Zoran, A., Shilkrot, R., Paradiso, J.: Human-computer interaction for hybrid carving. In: Proceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 433–440. ACM (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations