Offbeatism

Architonic Concept Space III

The latest Architonic Concept Space has been presented at the imm cologne, to great public interest. This year, the commission went to Zurich architect and process designer Oskar Zieta, who, together with the ITA Institute of the ETH Zurich, developed a new process whereby metal panels, cut into shapes and welded, are inflated under high pressure, forming three-dimensional elements.

For Zieta, the commision offered the opportunity to use this so-called FiDU (Freie InnenDruck Umformung, or free internal-pressure forming) technology architecturally for the first time, thus showing the process’s far-reaching possibilities for application.

Right up to the physical production phase, the modular structure was subject to modification; FEM (Fine Element Method) was used to simulate and refine it. The final design comprises essentially of an assymetric form, which can be configured in different ways. The identitical 3.2-metre high modules can be linked in different positions, next to or on top of each other, thereby creating seemingly random spaces – ordered disorder.

You don’t need a trained eye to see that the modular parts differ slightly. The soft creases indicate the extraordinary production process and leads to the viewer’s astonishment, having thought up to that point that what they were looking at was a piece of solid, moulded metal. Within certain parameters, FiDU is extremely precise; each uncertainty is controlled. These planned vagaries ultimately lend the structure its liveliness.

Oskar Zieta explains: The use of sheet metal is associated above all with the car industry. There, it’s pressed in a highly precise, very expensive tool and each piece is identitical to the next. But it’s only because you’ve got several tons on the go that you’re able to achieve this exact deformation. With the FiDU process, we don’t use a special, purpose-built tool, but rather work with the deformative property that the material offers. We factor in a certain uncertainty, because each piece of flat metal, in spite of its identical cut-out shape, takes on a slightly different final form.”

The Architonic Concept Space III was also exhibited at the Stockholm Furniture Fair.

[Source: Architonic]

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Written by Offbeatism [LMD]

March 10, 2010 at 1:07 am

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