New York-based designers from SHoP Architects made heads turn this year with their thought-provoking work at the Milan Design Week’s ‘Material Immaterial’.
SHoP are also currently overseeing the design for 447 Collins in Melbourne in conjunction with Woods Bagot.
SHoP submitted their work, ‘Wave/Cave’, which was a large sculptural terracotta enclosure that “invites visitors to pause and reflect, one at a time, on the hectic speed of our world”.
The Material Immaterial event celebrated the 20th edition of Interni magazine, an international publication of interiors and contemporary design, by showcasing micro-architectures, macro-objects and experimental installations created by internationally acclaimed designers, with the aim of breaking down the conventional confines of architecture and design and re-opening them to a multidisciplinary approach of contaminations.
Interni Material Immaterial explored design applications not only on the scale of objects and spaces, but also in terms of processes and systems, including timely areas ranging from the digital world to communication, all the way to productive systems, with a strong focus on sustainability and new technologies.
SHoP said the experience of Wave/Cave was conceived as a deliberate counterpoint to the internal agitation and disrupted attention spans encouraged by contemporary media and technology.
“It is a study of the unease we all experience—a slow, quiet commentary on solidity, deep time, and the contemporary pace of change,” the firm said.
“A custom-developed system of unglazed, fluted terra-cotta blocks are arranged in a soaring assembly (7.2 x 10 x 3.6 meters) that is open to the action of life around it but accessible only to the imagination and the gaze.
“The 1,670 terracotta blocks are stacked in three tiers, with interior faces carved to reveal a surprising ornamental richness as they describe a smoothly curved surface within the high perimeter wall.
“Conceived in collaboration with leading German firm NBK Keramik, the blocks are finished using a customised process that generated 797 individual profiles from the single extrusion used.
“At night, this intricate pattern is on full display when illuminated from within and around the perimeter of the installation.”
Engineered by Arup, the structural solution was conceived, produced, and installed by Metalsigma Tunesi.
Images courtesy SHoP Architecture.