Structural Xploration Lab

Uniting architecture and structural design, we forge new ways of designing load-bearing systems that are less material-intensive and reusable over multiple use cycles, hence contributing to the adoption of an industrial circular economy by the construction sector. We also devise new computer means to enhance designer-machine collaborations at the early stages of the architectural/structural design process. Our research and education activities are driven by sustainability challenges, rooted in history, embracing complexity, and boosted by digital technology.

Launched in July 2016, the Structural Xploration Lab is led by Corentin Fivet, tenure-track assistant professor of Architecture and Structural Design at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The lab is attached to the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), is part of the Institute of Architecture (IA) and has strong connections with the Civil Engineering Institute (IIC). The lab is active in the teaching of structures and construction systems to architects (SAR).

The Structural Xploration Lab is also an integral member of the smart living lab, a joint facility between EPFL, UniFr, and HEIA-FR, in Fribourg (Switzerland). The smart living lab engages effective multi-disciplinary research on user-centered building technology through close collaboration between universities, private firms and public administrations.

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© 2020 Baubüro In Situ

The SXL is hiring!

— New PhD and Postdoctoral positions to reinvent construction sustainability.

© 2020 EPFL

The quest for the 'good' structural form

— Interface 31 – June 2020

© 2020 SXL and baubüro in situ

Optimum design of frame structures from a stock of reclaimed elements

— New journal publication in Frontiers in Built Environment

© 2020 EPFL

Talk: Grammar-based structural design exploration to tame infinity

— Talk by Ioannis Mirtsopoulos (SXL), smart living lunch, June 16, 2020, 11am, Fribourg

© 2020 Triest Verlag

Works by SXL featured in the book “Upcycling”

— The research of SXL is featured in the new book “Upcycling” by Daniel Stockhammer (ed.).

© ITA, ETHZ

J.Brütting's & I.Mirtsopoulos's talks at ETH Zürich

— ITA Lunch Talks – ETH Zürich, Hönggerberg March 5th, 2020

© 2020 EPFL

The reuse of Construction Materials

— Talk @ FAS Genève, Th. Feb. 27, 2020 – 18h30 – Nyon, CH

© 2020 Sequences Bois

SXL cited in Sequences Bois issue on Reuse

— Sequences Bois #124 – Janvier-Février 2020 – page 49

© 2020 Jan Brütting / SXL / EPFL

New journal paper in Energy & Buildings

— Environmental impact minimization of reticular structures made of reused and new elements through Life Cycle Assessment and Mixed-Integer Linear Programming

© 2020 University of Cambridge

Structural Design for Delayed Obsolescence

— Corentin Fivet @ University of Cambridge, January 31st, 2020 – 3pm

© 2020 EPFL

Forms Follows Availability

— Jan Brütting @ smart living lunch – January 29, 2020 11am, Fribourg

© 2020 EPFL

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is reused

— SXL contribution to special issue of 'The Structural Engineer', January 2020

© J.Brütting / EPFL 2019

Form follows availability – Designing structures through reuse

— Hangai prize paper published in the IASS Journal, December 2019.

© 2019 EPFL

1to3: Three pavilions sharing the same stock

— SXL's entry at the IASS 2019 Pavilions Expo, October 7-10, 2019.

© 2019 IASS

The Structural Xploration Lab at IASS 2019

— 7-10 Octobre 2019, Barcelona, Spain

© 2019 EPFL

Jan Brütting awarded the IASS Hangai Prize

— Monday, October 7, 2019, Barcelona, Spain.

© 2019 EPFL

Lecture by Prof. C.Fivet at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel

— October 4, 2019. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

© 2019 eCAADe

Ioannis Mirtsopoulos (SXL) wins the eCAADe grant in Porto

— eCAADe + SIGRADI conference, Septembre 9-13, 2019, University of Porto (FAUP)

© 2019 EPFL

Structures & Architecture 2019

— International Conference on Structures and Architecture – ICSA 2019, July 24-26, 2019 – Lisbon

© 2019 Espazium

The new age of reuse: Corentin Fivet interviewed in Tracés

— Prof. Corentin Fivet interviewed in Tracés magazine (SIA), 14-15/2019

© 2019 smart living lab

Research and Design Workshop on Circular Economy

— July 2nd, 2019 — 1-4 PM — smart living lab (Halle Bleue, Fribourg)

© 2019 EPFL

Minimizing Energy in Construction

— Talk by John Orr (U. of Cambridge, UK) – Thursday June 20, 2019 – 12:00 – GC B1 10, EPFL Ecublens

© 2019 FoDNYC

Life-Cycle Structural Design

— Corentin Fivet, invited panelist at FoDNYC – June 1st, 2019.

© 2019 NUA

Reduce & Reuse through Design Exploration — 变废为宝的设计

— Nanjing University of the Arts, May 9, 2019, 18:30-20:00 at 南京艺术学院 

© 2019 Nanjing University

Workshop on Parametric Graphic Statics

— Nanjing University, School of Architecture & Urban Planning, China

© J.Brütting / 2019 EPFL

Hands-on reuse

— article in 'La liberté', 6/5/2019

ENAC Week "Constructive second hand ". © ENAC / EPFL

EPFL's Fribourg campus hosted three ENAC Weeks for the first time

— For the first time, EPFL’s Fribourg campus hosted three ENAC Weeks at once. Participating students made furniture from reused materials, built emergency shelters, and tested out formwork systems for textile-reinforced concrete.

© 2019 FoDNYC

The reuse of structural components for multiple service lifes

— Jan Brütting (SXL) interviewed by IABSE 'Future of Design' NYC

© 2019 EPFL

Form and structure: design research and teaching/learning experiences

— International Seminar, Politecnico di Torino, April 12, 2019

© 2019 EPFL

New Insights on Ancient Chinese Spiral Domes

— The Structural Xploration Lab at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Construction History Society, Cambridge, UK, April 5-7, 2019

© 2019 EPFL

Design of Truss Structures through Reuse

— Check out our new publication in Structures, Volume 18, April 2019, pages 128-137 !

© 2019 fib - ACHE

Conceptual Design of Structures 2019 – Call for papers

— Call for papers

© 2019 BAMB

The Reuse of Load-Bearing Systems

— Buildings as Material Banks – A Pathway for a Circular Future, Brussels, February 6-7, 2019

© 2019 EPFL

Construction & Deconstruction in America

— Talk by Prof. Carl Haas – Monday January 21, 2019 11am – smart living lab, Fribourg

© 2018 Thibaut Menny

Congratulations to Thibaut & Célia

— Master projects advised by SXL receive sustainability prizes, December 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Habitats in Time – Mapping Geneva's embodied carbon legacy

— Doctoral Seminar – 12-14 December, 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Measuring the Benefits of Reusing Structural Components

— The Structural Xploration Lab at PLEA 2018 conference, Hong-Kong

© 2018 EPFL

Strommast wird zum Bahnhofdach

— SXL featured in Handelszeitung 15. November 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Halle 118 – Architecture of Reuse

— baubüro in situ – November 29, 2018 – 15:00 – BC 01

© 2018 VUB

Parametric design of transformable structures – VUB

— Friday, 19.10.2018

© 2018 MVRDV

MVRDV Planet Week

— October 1-5, 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Joseph Desruelle wins SIA Vaud prize

— Magistrale EPFL, Saturday, 06.10.2018

© 2018 Ney & Partners

SXL Talks @ Ney & Partners

— Monday 8.10.2018

© 2018 rca

Research Culture in Architecture 2018

— September 27-28, 2018 – FATUK, Faculty of Architecture TU Kaiserslautern

© 2018 EPFL

A. Muresan & I.Mirts at the smart living lunch

— Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, 11am-1pm – smart living lab, Fribourg

© 2018 EPFL

Computational Methods for Design in the Circular Economy

— Monday July 23, 2018 – Manchester, MA

© 2018 EPFL

Structural Design from Reuse and for Reuse, at the IASS 2018

— Papers at the Annual Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, at MIT, Boston. July 16-20, 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Chinese Opera Domes: reciprocal, cantilever, or stack?

— Paper presented at the 6th ICCH, Brussels, July 9-13 2018

© 2018 EPFL

Mobility Award winner May 2018

— Jan Brütting from the Structural Exploration Lab, SXL is a winner of the Mobility Award, May 2018

© 2018 EG-ICE 2018

Low-Embodied Energy Structures from Reused Elements

— EG-ICE – June 11, 2018 – Lausanne.

© Losinger Marazzi 2018

Towards a regenerative building sector?

— Corentin Fivet invited at the Losinger Marazzi annual Technical gathering.

The architecture students spent time inventorying all the potentially reusable materials. © Alain Herzog / EPFL 2018

EPFL students recycle an old industrial site of Fribourg

— Architecture students from EPFL have built a pavilion out of materials recovered from an old research facility in Saint-Aubin, in Fribourg Canton. The structure, The structure will be inaugurated on 1 June and will be on display at the University of Lausanne for six months.

© 2018 EPFL

SXL workshop at Nanjing University, China

— May 28 to June 2, 2018

© 2018 EPFL

ENAC week – let's reuse your waste

— Semaine ENAC – du neuf construit avec vos déchets.

© 2018 EPFL

O. Baverel on Affordable Complex Structures

— Wednesday May 2nd, 2018 – 17h00 – smart living lab

© 2018 EPFL

"reduce & reuse" – new tools for structural exploration

— Corentin Fivet (SXL) @ Ecoles des Ponts, Paris, Wednesday 28/03/2018 1pm

Six high-voltage lines are due to be taken down in Valais canton. © Swissgrid

Reusing electric pylons to design the roof of a train station

— For his Master’s project, Joseph Desruelle devised a plan to reuse steel bars from dismantled electricity pylons to make a new roof for the Lausanne train station. This approach is still theoretical, but reusing materials in this way could one day become commonplace.

© 2018 Greenbuild Europe

Life Cycle Assessment As A Tool For Design @ Greenbuild Europe

— Wednesday, April 18 – 10:00 – 11:00 – Berlin, Germany

The authors encourage engineers to continue inventing more environmentally friendly materials. © iStock

Accurately measuring embodied carbon in buildings

— Embodied carbon in the construction industry is a major factor of climate change, but it is rarely measured accurately. A reference text co-edited by an EPFL researcher calls for greater transparency surrounding embodied carbon, along with the introduction of international standards.

© 2018 EPFL

O.Iuorio on Lightweight Steel Systems

— Wednesday March 14th, 2018 · 11:30 · smart living lab · Fribourg

© 2018 International Energy Agency

IEA Experts' Dialogue on Materials trends in Buildings Construction

— 9 March 2018 – Saint Gobain, 18 avenue d’Alsace, 92400 Courbevoie

© 2018 smart living lab

quantifying carbon & reusing structural elements

— smart living lunch – Tuesday, 6 February 2018, 11:00am

© 2018 EPFL

Combinatorial Equilibrium / Structural Folding

— Monday Feb 6, 2018 – 13:00 in HBL – smart living lab – EPFL Fribourg

© 2017 Architectural Journal, China

Graphic Statics: shared tools for Chinese architects and engineers?

— Architectural Journal – China – #590 – November 2017 – pp.20-25

© 2017 EPFL

Life-Cycle Assessment of Digital Fabrication and Parametric LCA

— Wednesday December 6th, 2017 · 12h00 Halle Bleue, smart living lab, BlueFactory, Fribourg

© 2017 EPFL

Prof. Fivet on the future of construction – live RTS "+3 degrés"

— Wednesday, 29 November 2017, 8:05

© 2017 EPFL

"Matière Grise" exhibit in Fribourg

— 15 Novembre 2017, 18:00, HEIA

© 2017 EPFL

invited talk at "Conference Zero Carbone"

— 16 Novembre 2017, all day, Fribourg

© 2017 EPFL

G.Guscetti(Ingeni) sur la conception des volières du bois-de-la-bâtie

— Jeudi 9 Novembre 2017 · 15h15 · salle BC01 · EPFL · Ecublens

© 2017 EPFL

“Structural Exploration for a Low Carbon Future” at MIT

— November 9, 2017 at 12pm – Department of Architecture, MIT, Boston

© 2017 EPFL

SXL at the Carbon Leadership Forum

— November 7-8, 2017 – Conference Center West, Jonathan Spack Community Conference Center, Boston

© 2017 EPFL

C. De Wolf (SXL) invited at CalPoly

— November 2, 2017 – California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly)

© 2017 EPFL

“Low Carbon Pathways for Structural Design” at Stanford University

— November 1, 2017 – Yang & Yamazaki Energy & Environment Building, 473 Via Ortega, Stanford, California 94305-4020

© 2017 EPFL

Swiss premiere F.Otto 'Spanning the Future' + lecture by J.Lienhard

— Monday Nov 20th, 2017 · screening at 12:00 & 19:00; lecture at 17:30 · Auditorium SG1

© 2017 EPFL

Anne Paduart (VUB) on Circular Building Design

— Thursday November 16th, 2017 · 15h15 · room BC01 · EPFL Ecublens

© 2017 EPFL

C. De Wolf (SXL) for a lecture at UC Berkeley

— October 30, 2017 at 5:10pm, Davis 534, UC Berkeley, USA

© 2017 EPFL

Catherine De Wolf invited at NCCR Digital Fabrication – Zürich

— October 23, 2017 at 12pm – HIB Open Space 2, ETH Zurich Hönggerberg Campus, Forschungsgebäude D-ARCH, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, Zurich

© 2017 EPFL

The SXL in Hamburg for IASS 2017

© 2017 @ C. De Wolf

Catherine De Wolf joins the SXL as EPFL Fellow

© 2017 EPFL

Last reassembly of the ski pavilion in Lyon

© 2017 EPFL

"Waste your time, not materials!" at the Part-Dieu shopping mall.

— Lyon, from June 19th to July 1st, 2018

© 2017 EPFL (Julieta Moradei)

Corentin Fivet invited by Archipel for a public round table in Lyon

— Saturday, June 17th, at 'La Sucrière', Lyon

© 2017 EPFL, Jan Brütting

The ski pavilion at the Biennale Architecture Lyon

— From June 7th to June 18th, 2017.

© 2017 EPFL

Corentin Fivet interviewed in Magazine Bâtir

© 2017 EPFL

Jan Brütting at "Pitch your Impact Contest"

© 2017 EPFL (J.Brütting)

The ski pavilion in Lausanne

— May 22nd-24th, 2017

© 2017 EPFL

Invited workshop at Roma Tre, Italy

— From Monday May 22nd to Friday May 26th

© 2017 EPFL

Invited Lecture at Southeast University, China

— May 19th, 2017.

© 2017 EPFL

The Structural Xploration Lab featured in Revue d'A

— Revue d'A, n°253, Mai 2017, pages 61-63

© 2017 EPFL

Invited workshop at Nanjing University, China

— From Mon. May 15th to Fri. May 19th

© 2017 EPFL

Invited Lecture at Tongji University, Shanghai

— May 14th, 2017 – Tongji University, China

© 2017 EPFL

Corentin Fivet awarded a Best Research Paper at ACE 2017

— 5th Annual International Conference on Architecture & Civil Engineering, Singapore

© 2017 EPFL

'Constructive Second Hand' workshop succesfully concludes

— smart living lab, ENAC, Fribourg, CH.

© 2017 EPFL

Walter Stahel on Reuse and the Circular Economy

— Wednesday May 3rd, 2017, 9:45, at the Halle Bleue, smart living lab, Fribourg

© www.istockphoto.com

ENAC week "Seconde-Main Constructive" kick off

© 2017 EPFL

R.Haerlingen (Rotor) on Deconstruction

— Tuesday April 25th, 2017 – 13h15 – GC D0 386 · EPFLausanne

© 2017 EPFL Jan Brütting

Building a nomad pavilion out of old skis

— Could recovered materials play a key role in tomorrow’s civil engineering? EPFL researchers set out to answer that question by creating an easily demountable pavilion out of more than 200 reclaimed skis.

© 2017 EPFL

SXL pre-selected for the Architecture Biennale in Lyon

— The smart living lab and ENAC will take part in BAL 2017.

© 2017 drawing by Juney Lee, ETHZ

The Halle Bleue to host international seminar on 3D Graphic Statics

— Monday, February 6th, 2017 @ Halle Bleue, smart living lab, Fribourg, CH.

© 2017 EPFL

SXL in the news

© 2017 EPFL

Tom Peters on Demountable Construction Details

— Monday, January 23rd, 4pm, Fribourg.

© 2017 EPFL

A. Pugnale: How Virtual Becomes Real

© 2017 EPFL

S.Colabella & J.Brütting (SXL) invited to Smart Living Lunch

— Tuesday, Jan. 10, 11am

© 2016 EPFL

Sofia Colabella on timber gridshells

— upcoming this Friday.

© 2016 EPFL

Corentin Fivet guest editor for special issue of IJSS

© 2016 EPFL

The SXL at IASS 2016 in Tokyo

© 2016 EPFL

The Structural Xploration Lab at ICSA 2016

— Corentin Fivet participates in the 3rd International Conference on Structures and Architecture, Guimarães, Portugal.

© 2015 EPFL

The smart living lab moves to the blueFACTORY site

— As of December 2015, the collaborators of the smart living lab, the center for research and development for the built environment of the future, will move to the Blue Hall, on the former Cardinal site in Fribourg. An Open House event organized by blueFACTORY will take place on Saturday, December 12, 2015. Everybody is welcome to visit.

© CPI - FRIMA

The Smart Living Lab Project Kicks Off

— The official launch of the smart living lab project marks the first step towards the development of a new center of excellence for technological, societal, and legal aspects of sustainability in the built environment. Ultimately, over 80 people will be working on-site in a building designed to push the boundaries of sustainable construction and architecture.

© 2016 EPFL

Interview with Corentin Fivet, new professor at the smart living lab

— Corentin Fivet, formerly a post-doc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, United States, has been named tenure track assistant professor of architecture and structural design at the School for Architecture, Civil, and Environmental Engineering (ENAC). He has just taken up his post at the smart living lab, a research and development center that is run jointly by EPFL, the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, and the University of Fribourg.