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Moving Space

The aim of this experimental research project was to create a space-enclosing skin in the form of a curved, folded structure that could comfortably accommodate one or two people. The appearance of this “moving space”, however, has little in common with what one normally associates with the constructional principles of folding and curvature. The simply curved surfaces that make up the skin merge to form a sculptural volume. The structure, consisting of areas of 4 mm curved beech plywood, has a diameter of roughly three metres and weighs just 40 kg. Along both faces of the abutments between the sections, cotton strips are glued and clipped on to form a flexible, tucked joint. This jointing technique allows an uncomplicated assembly of the structure. The tucked folds create comfortable reclining surfaces for the body and also serve to stiffen the volume. A shift of weight internally sets the structure rolling along a set pattern of routes – an “inner path” – determined by the form of the skin. The different positions the volume can adopt lend themselves to various uses. The curvature provides the necessary rigidity and thus helps to achieve a maximum load-bearing strength with a minimum use of materials. The ideal form was investigated by means of volumetric models. The sections of the skin were then transferred to a 1:5 model that showed the form of the individual elements. Using a 3-D computer program and photogrammetry, the model was translated to a full-scale sheet pattern. The 17 elements were assembled by 15 students.
This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 8/2001

Experimental Building

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