Circularity Park - ETH Zürich

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The Circularity Park is a robotically constructed retaining wall and publically accessible terraced landscape park on the outskirts of Zurich in Oberglatt. It was conceptualized and built over a one-year period in 2021, and is the demonstrator of pivotal research in autonomous construction, robotics, and architecture conducted within the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication at ETH Zurich. It incorporates material and construction innovations by Eberhard AG, a local leader in sustainable construction and recycling for the building industry. 

Established at the ETH Zurich, the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR Digital Fabrication is a research network established to revolutionize architecture and construction through the seamless combination of digital technologies and physical building processes. The groups around Gramazio Kohler Research (Prof. Fabio Gramazio and Prof. Matthias Kohler), Robotic Systems Lab (Prof. Marco Hutter), Chair for Landscape Architecture (Prof. Christophe Girot) and Vision for Robotics Lab (Prof. Margarita Chli) all at ETH Zurich worked and researched collaboratively for the successful completion of the Circularity Park.
The two ongoing research projects behind the Robotic Stone Wall and the Robotic Landscape at the ETH Zurich investigate the design, control, and computational tools needed to enable autonomous robotic construction processes directly on the construction site with as-found building materials and local excavation material. Additionally, a team at Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich implemented its digital concrete Eggshell technology for the robotic production of the park’s benches. 

As the building industry consumes more than 35% of global resources and energy worldwide, it is critical to leverage new technologies towards more sustainable building practices. One such avenue is to critically rethink the embodied energy of the material systems that are used in construction. In particular, developments in on-site robotic building methods offer the opportunity to leverage context-specific, locally sourced or upcycled materials that are inexpensive, abundant, and low in embodied energy.

This park showcases several different examples of sustainable building practices, many of which employ digital construction methods and robotic building processes. As illustrated, the construction of the dry stone retaining wall utilizes “Findlinge” or upcycled concrete and locally sourced stones. Moreover, in collaboration with Eberhard, several other ecological materials are integrated into the construction of the planned demonstrator. The Benches throughout the park are made from zirkulit®, a concrete developed by Eberhard which is currently the most circular concrete of the world. The split for the backfill of the wall is recycled from railroad sites, and the stairs integrated on the south side of the demonstrator are re-used from the same site.

We highlight the sustainability aspects of the proposed technologies.

Re-use of whole buidling parts


Prof. Fabio Gramazio, Prof. Matthias Kohler, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Prf. Dr. Marco Hutter, Robotic Systems Lab, ETH  Zurich
Prof. Christophe Girot, Chair of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zurich

Eberhard Unternehmungen AG

Project leader
Lauren Vasey, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Robotic Stone Wall
Ryan Luke Johns, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich; Martin Wermelinger, Robotic Systems Lab, ETH  Zurich

Robotic Landscape
Ilmar Hurkxkens, Gramazio Kohler Research / Prof. Christophe Girot, Chair of Landscape Architecture, ETH Zurich; Dominic Jud, Robotic Systems Lab, ETH Zurich

Robotic benches
Joris Burger, Guillaume Jami, Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich

Selected experts
Patric Van der Haegen, Michael Maur, Roger Ruf (Eberhard Unternehmungen AG), Prof. Dr. Margarita Chli, Ruben Mascaro (Vision for Robotic Lab, ETH Zurich);  Varin Buff, Vuk Pakovic Mads Albers (Robotic Systems Lab, ETH Zurich), Jovica Zilic, Guido Morri, (Gysi Leoni Mader AG); Elia Quadranti, Sandro Kühne (ATP architekten ingenieure), Remo Hug (zirkulit AG), Prof. Dr. David Kammer, Dr. Mohit Pundir, Flavio Lorez (Chair of Computational Mechanics of Building Materials), Vasileios Ntertimanis, Konstantinos Vlachas (Chair of Structural Mechanics and Monitoring, ETH Zurich), Mike Lyrenmann (Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich)

The Circularity Park builds upon research funded by the SNSF NCCR Digital Fabrication.

We wish you lots of fun at the Circularity Park at ETH Zurich. For the best experience please visit the Park in Oberglatt: There you an explore interactive the Educational Trail of circular econony and take part in an exciting quiz. We hope you will also read the contents of the Circularity Educational Trail. The quiz contains questions about the Educational Trail and the research projects.