Innovative Terra Cotta Facade: Ringling Museum’s Asian Art Study Center

The John and Mable Ringling Museum, located in Sarasota, Florida, will soon feature a new Asian Art Study Center with a completely digitally imagined and designed terra cotta facade.

Horizontal Track Example, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

Mock-up of the rain screen system that will adorn the new Ringling Museum Asian Art Study Center.

Fabrication of the terra cotta units began at Boston Valley Terra Cotta after a review and development period in collaboration with architect Machado and Silvetti Associates.

The three primary shapes of terra cotta blocks that make up the main field will be hydraulically ram-pressed. The corner conditions are more custom and thus will be a combination of hand-pressed and slip-cast units.

ram-press die, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

Upper ram-press die, block (green) and lower ram-press die

The process involved a digital realization of the form using 3-D software and was prototyped using the 5-axis mill here at Boston Valley. The team is finishing up milling the models and will then create molds for all three manufacturing types on this project.

Horizontal Track Example, John and Mable Ringling Museum, sarasota, FL, innovative terra cotta, architecture, boston valley terra cotta

The ram-press models take shape on the 5-Axis router.

Check back on this blog for more photos & details on the Ringling Museum’s Asian Art Study Center and it’s innovative terra cotta facadecas it progresses through our plant @ Boston Valley.

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