Coursebooks 2017-2018


Caution, these contents corresponds to the coursebooks of last year

Argamassa armada in Salvador de Bahia


Lecturer(s) :

Baur Raffael
Fernandes de Oliveira Olivia
Fernández Ruiz Miguel
Guaita Patricia




Il n'est pas autorisé de se retirer de cette matière après le délai d'inscription.


Cette Unité d'enseignement prévoit d'analyser de manière critique le système proposé par Filgueiras Lima, à travers la construction d'éléments en béton à l'échelle 1:1 par les étudiants.


This Unité d'enseignement (UE) focuses on the building technology developed by the Brazilian architect Filgueiras Lima, based on a specific type of ferrocement construction material (argamassa armada). Through an in-depth analysis of the proposed building technology, the UE proposes to recover this local and highly valuable technique. The course addresses manifold issues such as respect for local building culture through the lens of technological innovation and social technologies, and ultimately aims at formulating potential responses to an urgent need for new social housing units.

Besides the argamassa armada, Filgueiras Lima furthermore proposed a concept for a mobile mini-plant, which could facilitate and divulgate the production of concrete elements by help of local inhabitants. The building system and the mini-plant concept 'so far understudied by scholarly, technological research' contains much potential to respond to the above mentioned manifold needs. First, it applies to and is based on the local climate and available materials. Second, it permits rapid, yet solid construction of housing units, eventually implemented by masons and rapidly trained workers alike. Moreover, even the historical heritage area (UNESCO), located in the city's center and currently in despair, may benefit from this technology.

The UE foresees to retrieve and critically analyse the system proposed by Filgueiras Lima, through a close collaboration of a team of researchers from architectural and engineering sciences, based respectively at the Atelier de la Conception de l'Espace (EPFL ENAC IA ALICE), at the Structural Concrete Laboratory (EPFL ENAC IIC IBETON) and the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAUFBA) in conjunction with the Scientific Research Program Without Borders brought by the architect and researcher Olivia De Oliveira.

After a first period of analysis, empirical research through 1:1 building tests will be led at the EPFL Labs with UE students from the EPFL during this first part of the UE 2017. Students will produce 1:1 scale elements in textile reinforced concrete.

Ultimately, the building system could be implemented and employed for the construction of new housing units, in situ in Brazil.


Technological innovation, Local and global knowledge transfer, Social housing, Ferrocement construction, Elements 1:1.

Acquis de formation

A la fin de ce cours l'étudiant doit être capable de:

Méthode d'enseignement

1:1 test, lectures, visits, collaborative discussion

Constructive investigations

A critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the argamassa armada technique, will allow for significant progress in the development of thin construction elements such as folded members or shells. It is the aim to identify efficient construction solutions (ease of formwork, efficiency of the structural lay-out) and to update the argamassa armada technique with recent technological inputs, in order to optimize it, for the moment, being frail aspects. Concerning this aspect, a promising research line will be given by the potential use of textile reinforced concrete.

The UE proposes to the students to analyze the students work of the 2016 UE and develop it further.

Students will produce 1:1 scale elements in textile reinforced concrete:

Analysis of the elements the students have worked on, in the 2016 UE (five elements, case studies from João Filgueiras Lima in Salvador de Bahia).

  1. Construction of 1:1 formworks
  2. Placement of textile reinforcement in the formwork.
  3. Casting 1:1 elements under i-beton supervision.
  4. Measuring of resistance and ductility in the i-beton lab.

These different tracks offer a framework for interdisciplinary work that opens doors to future questions, and providing a richer context to investigations. By working with students from different sections of the ENAC, we give students the opportunity to develop a project and experiment together.

Travail attendu

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

translate architectural drawings and models into 1:1 constructions

use drawing, model and 1:1 construction to resolve tectonic and structural questions,

identify the specific climatic and site-specific constraints of a given project

work in a group on a collaborative building project.


Transversal competences

receive feedback from a critique and respond in an appropriate manner

give feedback to other group members and responding to group critique.


The interactions generated by the project will test disciplinary boundaries -both personally and intellectually - by working with other sections within the school.

We also allow the UE to build links to the Semaine ENAC 'Making structural logic'. The objective of the week will be for students to design a concrete structure that has a minimal dimension, where a fragile formwork tests the limits of a reinforced concrete system.

Méthode d'évaluation

Ongoing evaluation.

Students will be evaluation on the basis of the four following criteria:

  1. ability to work between drawing/model and 1:1 construction;
  2. capacity to use testing as a means of advancing an architectural idea;
  3. collaboration (communication, team work, flexibility within different roles);
  4. engagement (participation in exercises, analytical work, initiative).


Autres The professors will be with the students on a continual basis throughout the UE period.



Joao Filgueiras Lima Lélé, Editorial Blau, Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

Escola Transitoria, Modelo Rural, Joao Filgueiras Lima Lélé MEC SG.CEDATE

Cruz Prieto, Fabio. De l'observation. (Vina del mar: Inéditos, 1993).

Ekerman, Sergio Kopinski. 'L'œuvre multiforme de Lelé'. L'ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURD'HUI 396 64-71.

Farias, Bruno Fialho ; Netsch, Stefan. Die Methode Lele. BAUWELT 5.14 26-31.

de Oliveira, Olivia. 'L'architecture brésilienne sous les projecteurs'. L'ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURD'HUI 396 72-77.

Serapião, Fernando. 'Fragments of a Lover's Discourse ' Brazilian Architecture and Reinforced Concrete'. DETAIL 6/2014 546-554.

Olmos, Susana Acosta ; Cordiviola, Chango ; Ekerman, Sergio Kopinski. 'L'humain au cœur de la fabrique architectural'. L'ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURD'HUI 396 52-63.

Wilson, Colin St. John. 'The sacred buildings and the sacred sites.' OASE 45/46 (1997): 64-87.

C. Kulas Solidian GmbH, Germany, 'Actual applications and potential textile-reinforced concrete' GRC 2015.

In the programs

Reference week

Under construction
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
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  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German