IAAC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
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IaaC Projects

Endesa Pavilion & Research Projects

ENDESA Pavilion is a self-sufficient solar prototype installed at the Marina Dock, within the framework of the International BCN Smart City Congress. Over a period of one year it will be used as control room for monitoring and testing several projects related to intelligent power management.


The pavillion is actually the prototype of a multi-scale construction system. A facade composed by  modular components, like solar brick, that respond to photovoltaic gaining, solar protection, insulation, ventilation, lighting ... The same parametric logic adapt façade geometries to the specific

environmental requirements for each point of the building. It is is a single component that integrates all levels of intelligence that the building needs.


From “form follows function” (classic XX century statement) to “form follows energy”. The facade   opens reacting to the solar path, being active and becoming permeable towards south, while becoming closed and protective towards north. The behavior of this skin makes visible the environmental and climatic processes that surrounds the prototype.

Fab Lab House

The Fab Lab House Project (www.fablabhouse.com) lead by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (www.iaac.net), the Center for Bit and Atoms del MIT and a world wide network of fab labs (fab.cba.mit.edu) have been chosen as one of participants in Solar Decathlon Europe competition (www.sdeurope.org), which will take place in Madrid in June 2010.

The prototype is understood as a result of the negotiated consensus of the sum. More than a closed design, more than a description of an object, the prototype defined here is presented as a combination of a series of intentional strategies, and the realization of a series of affirmations that we intend to defend. 

Basic conditions of the proposal:

The first argument is based on a distinct industrialization model. Set against the industrialization of mass production, digital design techniques and the new technologies of personalized fabrication, CAD CAM and that which is closely linked between design and fabrication, we offer them vast possibilities of adaptation between real needs and specific answers. It is based on this point that we propose the international network of Fab Labs as a base of production for prototype development. 

The second argument is based on the extended definition of technological efficiency. We intend to add to the concept of efficiency a factor of accessibility and apply these values to all the design categories of the prototype, from the structure to the finishes. We propose to measure, for example, the efficiency of a photo-sensitive material not by its energy efficacy, but by the relation of its price, availability, complexity /technical opacity, possibilities of use, adaptation transformation assembly facility and maintenance… and its energy collecting efficiency. Through this change of viewpoint we intend to make the user an agent of participation and a transformer of the space they inhabit.

The third, the emergent logic of the component and distribution of intelligence. Set against the opposing sum of elements originating from different technical fields, set against the typical "box + panel", we argue in favour of the distribution of intelligence. Each component of the prototype contains the same technical, energy, and structural level, etc… as the rest.  The logic, in its entirety is found in each of the parts and not in it’s entirety.

Finally, the prototype presented here is the result of an open evaluation process of different prototype options, subjected to formal criteria as well as constructive logics and energy efficiency in which all of the agents that have actively participated will form part of their subsequent development.


Hyperhabitat. Reprogramming the World


Is a research project that explores the potential of information technology to reorganize the habitability of the world. From a single small object to the planet itself.

Hyperhabitat, reprogramming the world is the biggest Internet Zero network ever built.


Hyperhabitat. Reprogramming the World is an installation directed by Vicente Guallart and produced for the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, curated by Aaron Betsky under the title Out There: Architecture Beyond Building.

For the development of the project, Guallart Architects, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaMIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and Bestiario have created a consortium to address the various aspects of the proposal.

The project engages with the theme of the Biennale by positing the need to reprogramme the structures with which we inhabit the world through the introduction of distributed intelligence in the nodes, networks and environments with which we construct buildings, cities and territories.

The installation includes the construction of a house with shared spaces made of methacrylates with embedded microservers, which interact with one another to generate relationships that are displayed as a large-format projection on which line codes can be drawn to suggest relationships or ‘line codes’ between nodes. In addition a special web platform, to be launched on November 24, will enable people around the world to put forward formulas for reprogramming the world.

The project incorporates key recent developments in digital manufacturing, the creation of Internet 0 (a new microserver technology developed at MIT to generate ambient intelligence by linking a series of miniature computers) and the theory of the multiscale habitat, an ‘urban genome’ project developed at IaaC that seeks to introduce new approaches to the generation of buildings and cities by restructuring the functional relationships between the constituent parts.

DHUB exhibition



FABRICATION LABORATORY is a group of activities ( exhibition, real-time manufacturing laboratories, workshops, conferences, etc.) which aim to analyze new three-dimensional digital manufacturing technologies - a phenomenon in constant evolution that is leading to radical changes in design and production processes.




The permanent exhibition, Full Print3d. Printing objects provides an introduction to digital fabrication through a series of projects that illustrate the conceptual implications of this type of production for design.

In additive fabrication—popularly known as ‘3D printing’—an object is created by superimposing and solidifying successive, extremely thin layers of a particular material. Whereas other types of digital fabrication grew out of the automation of manual techniques that were already familiar before the advent of the computer (cutting, milling, folding, bending, etc.), additive processes make it possible to produce the object, particle by particle, according to the data sent from the computer. This flexibility allows unprecedented freedom in the shape of the design and the control of the material.

The work being explored developed in various disciplines, illustrates how new concepts in the production of material are emerging, thanks to the adaptation and use of additive fabrication technologies. The versatility of 3D printing technologies can be found in the creation of everyday objects and furniture; the printing of human cell tissue, bone prostheses, food and the adaptation of machines to print buildings, and points to a possible paradigm shift in the creation of the world around us.

All of the objects presented at Full Print3d were created using different additive manufacturing processes and are organize into six thematic areas: freeform, variation, customization, complexity, materiality, and finally, applications and research.

Exhibits are presented within the following categories: Free form Variation, Customization, Complexity, MaterialityApplications and Research



Within the exhibition Fabrication Laboratory a Fab Lab was created and implemented inside the museum.

The DHUB FAB is a digital fabrication laboratory, with CNC machinery, that allows on-site experimentation with prototype and object manufacturing through workshops aimed at both professionals and non-professionals.

DHUB FAB aims to bring technology closer to all of the visitors and also transmit the idea that, just as 2D printers did in the past, 3D digital manufacturing machines will give rise to important changes in the way that we produce and consume and have direct consequences on the economies of present-day production .



The current project aims to relate architectural thinking with the potentials of the digital production. The topic of the exhibition (Digital Fabrication and 3D digital manufacturing technologies) set up the principle of the design which had to begenerated by this technology itself.


The goal was to pass from the smaller scale of one object to the big scale of a whole exhibition without any interference, tracking down the relationship as well as the practical value in the choice and manipulation of the materials and the geometry, to archive the highest possible efficiency in the production method using CNC machine tools.

The study of the design was made based on “serial thinking” by designing geometric volumes depending on how from the union we could create multiple configurations vertically and horizontally, giving them also the geometry that could yield the necessary surfaces and heights, depending on the exhibits.


Evaluating the geometric design, the initial form that in its repetition was capable of variable connections was a prismatic model. Aggregated itself is designed to offer different connections that are created according to the suitable presentation of each exhibit.

The final prism is composed of three identical rhombus-shaped, two triangular and two trapezium-shaped surfaces. The prism is able to grow vertically and horizontally as well as linear configurations which can turn direction in space at any time.


The fabrication strategy was linked with a folding technique and the material chosen was a composite of aluminum and polyethilenium, a material able to fold as well as offer structural stability.

Material performance has been associated with CNC machine handling, the proper selection of tools and machine programming.


Curated by: Marta Malé–Alemany, Master co-director IAAC
Collaborators: Francisca Aroso, Areti Markopoulou, Massimo Menichinelli

DHUB Fab Lab: Tomás Díez, Guillem Camprodon, Luciano Betoldi

Exhibition Design: IAAC, Areti Markopoulou, Nota Tsekoura

Media House Project

The Media House Project is the fruit of a strategic alliance between the Metapolis Group from Barcelona, the MIT Media Lab, and the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya, with the collaboration of the consortium 12CAT and the Elisava design school, in order to build a prototype of an informational house.

This project inables the testing of the proregression of information technologies beyond that of computers and integrates them into everyday life, literally looking to build computers from the components of buildings, in such a way, that the logical intelligence of a structure can grow with its physical form.

The technologies that Media Lab are developing include techniques to distribute the work of some central servers, to drammatically reduce costs and also the complex task of equipping them with internet access, so that it is possible to integrate them into the simplest of the existing elements in “intelligent spaces”.

The Metapolis architects have developed an informative structure, which incorporates in just one element the physical structure, the electrical network, and the data network, which enables a dynamic and configurable link between the entities (people, objects, space, limits, networks and contents) and that which create an inhabitable environment.

The house is the computer, the structure is the network.