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Covid-19 Sends PCI Foundation Programs Online

The Washington University in St. Louis architecture students in Assistant Professor Pablo Moyano Fernandez's 14 week seminar had a big task ahead of them at the start of the semester. Working with the staff at Gate Precast, they would design panels, in groups of 3 to 4 students, that would be molded and cast by the end of the semester.

As it went with all universities this year, a wrench was thrown into those plans when students were sent home and classes went remote in March. Now, instead of working in person and building the panels together, the students had to work virtually and reviewed their work with the Gate Precast team online.

"Even though the main goal of this seminar was to design and build full scale mock pieces, this global pandemic inhibit the student from getting to the casting phase," says Moyano Fernandez. "However, they were able to deliver compelling and yet buildable projects through well-developed documents to make precast concrete panels. Keep in mind this is not a studio, it is a 3-credit seminar, we only meet once a week for 3 hours during a 14-weeks semester. These group of students were really invested in their proposals."

Moyano Fernandez’s fabrication seminar focused on the use of precast concrete assemblies as a performative component of building envelopes designed for a specific use, such as a small art gallery or teahouse. Each of the student groups did an excellent job going through the steps of the mold making and fabrication process, gaining full understanding of how the precast process works. Examples of the four projects designed by the students are pictured here.

"I also want to thank Gate for your support, commitment and willingness to build these panels. We were not able to cast the mock ups this time,but we will do this next spring with another group of students. In particular, I would like to thank Chris Galde and Scott Robinson for your time and dedication to the students," says Moyano Fernandez.

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