This study proposes and demonstrates that the application of the hybrid medium of ice and fiber to a traditional building method and material can shift the forces in tension to compression thus introducing an innovative strategy for changing the structural energy for a temporary ice pavilion build proposal for an ice structure competition in Harbin, China. By utilizing the inherent properties of ice for structural purposes, a rope, column and fabric structure is transmuted into a fabric and ice structure.
A tripartite cylindrical form of wood, fabric and rope, will allow the cohesive nature of an ice-fiber medium applied to allow a physical shift by transmuting tensile forces into compression forces making the initial compressive forces in the wood column and the tension forces in the ropes to become unnecessary becoming an ice structure.
Our design intent proved to be a successful consideration of the exploration of ice as an architectural force changing medium. The ice-fiber layered fabric that initially held its form solely by the ropes in tension, held its structure once the ropes had been cut, shifting the tensile forces that the structure once depended upon into compression forces transferred by the ice-fiber membrane to the foundation. Being the only team for a school in the United States, we built this project in China where it still stands.