A bold yet elegant construction

The Concept

For Shadows, we encountered a client who had bold ideas, who wanted her wedding to be a platform that crosses event genres, looking outside the normal scope of the decorated or designed. The bride referenced photos of contemporary art installations involving wood structures that she had seen at pavilions and exhibitions. She wanted to make an art statement. Thus, began the exploration into what ways and what kinds of structural installations could be constructed to meet this vision.

The elemental structure of this installation is a simple yet elegant construction. A single wood segment, whose length (6 m) remains constant is the vertical spine of the basic structure. Four other wood segments (lengths varying 110-330 cm), each consisting of two attached, equal, and parallel segments, vary their position along this spine because they are attached to nodes that also vary. Two of these segments always run at a horizontal 90 degree angle from the spine and vary in two dimensions—their individual lengths and their position along the spine. The other two segments are attached to the spine and the horizontal segments via four nodes, and their positions change based on the position of these nodes. In this basic wood structure, there are altogether 10 variable factors, and because every component is connected through the nodes, any modification affects the entire system. This parametric aspect drives the overall configuration of the installation.

The basic element is copied 300 times while a gradual variation is introduced. Fifty variations, placed in succession, are repeated six times and looped to form a ring that gives the installation its dynamic shape, its form, its scale, and its presence.

The span of all the elements creates a structure with cilia-like extensions and dense node points that generate multiple staggered wave formations of varying amplitudes.

The changes, though subtle from one element to the next, over the length of the entire ring, generatively create a visually complex structure, so dynamic that it appears to be rotating in mid-air.

Additionally, the individual wood structures have illuminating components that extend from them via slender stainless steel rods that are also parametrically dictated with gradual length and angle changes, contributing to the iterative quality of the installation as a whole. The scooped bulb casing and the mirror-like polished steel used also allows the light to reflect back onto the wood, adding yet another dimension.

Although the six meter spine of each element is constant, this basic structure is mounted at varying heights onto a steel circular truss, elevated eleven meters off the ground, contributing to the perceived movement in the piece. At its highest point, the installation is 950 cm from the ground, and at its lowest point, 170 cm. This allows for an installation that guests can get close to, interact with, while the more distant details facilitate the piece’s enigmatic quality.

Unlike the ephemeral nature of event designs, this particular project has an architectural quality that suggests some permanence. The installation is such that one can imagine it being designed in larger scale for a pavilion or an exposition.

details

Event : 900 guests

Date:  2015

Location: Rashid‎ Hall, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai

Shadows: Ceiling structure
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