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CASULA: A design-build experiment (Extension Course)
Authors: Ana Rolim and Vinícius Lemos 

Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP), Brazil
Built with Grant of USD 1,100 by Fundação Antônio dos Santos Abranches (FASA)

Casula is a low-budget architectural prototype created for temporary use on a campus, designed by a professor and a final-year student, and built in three days by 12 undergraduate architecture students with the assistance of two carpenters. It employs non-Euclidean geometry derived from a deformed cubic form using modeling and coding software, following the parallel stacking sectioning technique.


This project exemplifies architectural experimentation in the digital age, where 1:1 scale experiments blur the lines between design, fabrication, and final product. The structure, resembling a loft, utilizes locally sourced OSB plywood stacked horizontally and supported by pine timber beams to create curvy shapes, providing seating areas for individuals or groups.


Due to limited funding, digital design was combined with analog construction methods. The use of computational tools allowed for adaptation to real-world constraints, enhancing the students' understanding of rational systemic design. This experience highlights the integration of digital resources in contemporary architectural practice.

The team after completion of Casula.

Construction phase: OSB sheets are stacked and secured one to another with solid wood blocking

Construction phase: Cutting and finishing OSB boards

Assembling parts at site

Casula construction team

People immediately started using Casula

Casula in use!

Casula set in the campus' library garden

The artifact is permeable and inviting

Isometric views

Code: Rational of OSB sheets

The loft tool is key for shaping the object

Cutting layout of OSB sheets

The full code

Casula seen through the grass

The construction strategy of using solid blocks for structuring allows for a permeable object

The artifact sitting quietly at the site

The more squared side of Casula

Casula's top opens up to the tree canopies and sky above

Not your regular corner detail

Night view of Casula being used

The object is visually and physically permeable, and integrated to the site

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