A very playful space

Katerina Hojgrova
Wednesday 25 Feb 2015

Marc Fornes, the founder of THEVERYMANY and the winner of WAN 21 for 21 Award in 2014, has recently delivered another exciting project, the Vaulted Willow in Edmonton, Canada.

The Brooklyn-based experimental architect built this project in line with his long-term research work that evolves around light weight monocoque shells made of a series of thin planar elements.

Speaking about the Vaulted Willow, Marc Fornes describes it as: “An architectural folly exploring lightweight, ultra-thin, self-supported shells through the development of custom computational protocols of structural form-finding and descriptive geometry whilst producing permanent public art space for wandering and play. The project’s aim is to resolve and delineate structure, skin and ornamentation into a single unified system.”

Marc describes the striated skin of the pavilion as an intricate assembly of structural shingles. They are similar, yet unique, digitally fabricated stripes that overlap through their extended tabs to double material thickness.

The architect goes on to explain that the overall morphology is a result of a reciprocal relationship encompassing experiments in non-linear architectural typology (multiple entries, distributed feet with branching and spiralling legs), structural differentiation (bifurcation of structural download forces, tighter radii of leg profiles for rigidity) and programmatic possibilities for a winding playground. Finally, the striped colours are originated in its immediate environment, though for it to be an iconic destination within Borden Park, the colours are pushed toward artificiality. The greens and blues blend into a synthetic magenta, overlapping to reveal a two-way Cheshire scheme.

The project is comprised of 721 aluminium stripes, 14,043 connectors and 60 epoxy concrete anchors. The project uses aluminium of three different thicknesses. Twenty-four base plates are anchored to a concrete pad of 240 cubic feet. It took four days and a crew of four to assemble the prefabricated parts.

WAN 21 for 21 Award 2014 Winner


Katerina Hojgrova

US West Coast Correspondent

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