March 20, 2010: For the design of a new gallery, we have been developing strategies to create “deep” patterns in order to fabricate architectural walls with continuously variable thicknesses.
The gallery is located inside a large commercial retail space. This existing interior space is enclosed by a strong geometrical form: a 30-meter, glass dome. The gallery will be inserted along the perimeter of the first floor of this radial atrium, forming a kind of a ring that will wrap around the existing functions.
Rather than build a solid wall to isolate the gallery from the existing space, we imagined a “Public Wall” that can serve as a permeable facade between the gallery and adjacent commercial functions in the space. We wanted this architectural facade to respond to the different conditions, such as the radial form and the new gallery requirements, but to do so while maintaining a high level of integrity and consistency. For us, this meant not repeating one module throughout, but instead, designing a kind of a pattern that can adapt and have a degree of variability.
This consistency emerged during the development of the structural system for construction. Working closely with CKT and Thai Obayashi, we studied possible materials, details and installation strategies. After completing our final full-scale mockup, we had the confidence to fully implement the design on the site. And that was when things began to get interesting…