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February 23, 2012

Mobile Coffee Platform Pushes ALPOLIC ACM's Boundaries

Mobile Coffee Platform Pushes ALPOLIC ACMs Boundaries

Mobile Coffee Platform
Rapid Type, OTA+, Studio Under Manufacture (SUM)
San Francisco, California
Completion: 2011

Rapid Type is a design/build studio at the California College of the Arts (CCA) initiated as a result of ALPOLIC’s continued interest in engaging young architects in the use of aluminum composite materials (ACM). The program allowed 15 students, led by OTA+’s Kory Bieg, and Studio Under Manufacture’s Andre Caradec, to push the boundaries of ALPOLIC aluminum composite materials.

A major aspect of the studio was exploring prefabrication and why it is not yet seen as a feasible means of construction. The students chose to explore how prefabrication and innovative design can transform the rapidly growing food truck industry. They began by designing a prototype with the ability to be mass-produced.

With our donated ACM, the students created a mobile coffee pod. The base of the structure was constructed using shear plywood attached to a metal frame. With CNC fabrication technology at their disposal, the team wanted to explore the limits of our products. The body of the structure is a waffle grid with 80, 4mm Mist White, fabricated ribs that are partially covered with shear plywood. The ribs were cut from 62-by-196 inch ALPOLIC sheets using SUM’s three-axis CNC mill.

The fully functioning mobile coffee cart was built in less than seven days and featured in several major architectural publications including: Architect’s Newspaper, Inhabitat, Design Boom, and Design Spotter. The Rapid Type studio exceeded our expectations. The students and professors involved in the project proved that an inventive and creative use of ALPOLIC ACM yields fascinating results.

text & images © arch paper, ota+, rapid type, sum

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