Smith and Wallwork are collaborating with Roz Barr Architects on a potential installation at this years Venice Biennale.

The installation proposes the careful arrangement and stacking of some 17,000 sandbags to create a piece of public art, a large courtyard paved and enclosed by sandbags.

Key to this early stage of the project has been assessing the stability of the 2.5m tall sandbag wall and learning from a full scale test which has given us useful insight to buildability issues as well as structural performance.

The test has been carried out at Cambridge University Architecture Department working closely with Emily So and Michael Ramage and the Part 2 architecture students. A series of static load and unload tests were carried out as well as impact and push-over tests. Part pre-stressing of sandbag piers was also trialed.