Chocolate informs design

Designers and researchers at Princeton University have created the world’s first – and likely most delicious – functional structure built entirely out of chocolate.

The combination of computer design software, modelling techniques and a refined chocolate recipe result in a structurally self-supporting pavilion for chocolate lovers. The final pavilion was constructed after testing the structural properties of chocolate in smaller prototypes and spans 2,5m in width as well as height.

In total, some 400 kilograms of pure chocolate make up the pavilion’s 70 panels, which are optimally engineered with cut-outs and voids based upon the strength-to-weight ratio unique to chocolate as a material. A research and development team from chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut carefully devised an optimal mix of sugar, cocoa powder, milk and vegetable oil to ensure the chocolate keeps its form and stays rigid at room temperature.

The chocolate pavilion was originally intended to be installed in the Belgian Beer Cafe in Manhattan (a great idea!) but this arrangement fell through due to logistical reasons. The designers are currently trying to find another venue to house it. Any takers? You can read more about building with chocolate here.