The Shape of Things to Come
Marc Fornes conducts a spatial experiment for the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France
Seth Sherwood -- Interior Design, 11/1/2011 2:00:00 AM
As soon as you start trying to count the components in large sculptural creations by Marc Fornes, you quickly understand why he calls his architecture firm Marc Fornes/The Very Many. His strange and wondrous room-size pavilion NonLin/Lin-commissioned for the 2012 reopening gala at the FRAC Centre, a regional contemporary art and architecture museumin Orleans, France-is fashioned from more than 6,000 individual strips, no two alike, held together by 75,000 rivets. He designed the basic geometry of the structure in Rhinoceros software,
more commonly used in boatbuilding, by running codes programmed specially for his team. Because the scale was too large and the shape too complicated for a mold, Rhino then broke down the design into components that could be assembled on-site.
A signage company provided the pavilion's primary material: glossy white ultrathin sheet aluminum. The sheets were sent to a metalwork shop where a CNC router cut them into strips, each with unique dimensions. For shipping to Orleans to conduct a trial run, the strips were taped onto paper squares and stacked in wooden crates. On delivery, a team representing the firm supervised the assembly process. It was carried out by nine local design and architecture students, given computer models, pneumatic rivet guns, and the strips of aluminum, which are flexible enough for a tight curve but rigid enough for strength. Joining them to produce 40 modules took three weeks. To build the 33-foot-long pavilion from the modules required another three days.
Fornes says he considers it a model for a future form of architecture: "For me, it's really the prototype of the skin of a building." If some people see coral formations or flowers, that's fine with him. Just don't call it art.
Photography by Francois Laugine.
THROUGHOUT plastik banana: metalwork.