By Savitha Hira
Photography: Valerie Bennett and Orproject; courtesy Orproject
Read Time: 3 mins
Architecture & Design studio, Orproject pushes its boundaries yet again to endorse that bespoke design stems as much from philosophical musings as it backed by scientific agenda!
Time and again Orproject has experimented with process and material, delimiting their properties to evolve precision-driven, highly-engineered futuristic design solutions. Their offices in New Delhi, London, Beijing and Dubai with partners Rajat Sodhi, Francesco Brenta, Christoph Klemmt and Haseb Zada are continuously involved in exploring advanced geometries with an ecologic agenda, resulting in an eco-narrative unfolding into three-dimensional spaces.
Showcasing their latest installation “Sahya” meaning Shadow, at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, the studio unveils its most recent breakthrough in form by developing a bespoke double-curvature surface at an economical price.
Responding to our queries on the purpose of this installation and its makeup, Rajat Sodhi, the Delhi-based partner informs us that there are several existing flat-panelled materials that make building skins and cladding surfaces; however, while it is possible to develop single curvature surfaces, double-curvature surfaces are hard to develop. Galvanizing action on this premise, it has taken Orproject 3 years to work with ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene is an opaque thermoplastic polymer) to develop this bespoke material that is vacuum foamed via an aluminium mould, to evolve as a double curvature, self-supporting, sturdy and aesthetically pliable material with infinite possibilities.
The added bonus being that while a single mould was used to extrude approx. 250 sheets of the product, bespoke individual panels were CNCed from it, resulting it 250 distinct panels of size 2 ft x 1ft, weighing approximately 1.3 kg (no significant change from that of the existing aluminium panels currently used in the building industry) and the entire exercise is effected as a commercially viable solution – an aesthetically resplendent, alternative material to prevailing flat panels.
“The organic geometrical wave-like form that is designed as a wall and roof system mediates between the motion of air and light and controls sunlight and views, while the curved elements direct wind into the interior space. It is designed as a prototype to respond to environmental conditions in hot climates,” enlightens Rajat.
With Sahya, the architects have explored the possibilities and variations that can be achieved by utilizing a single mould, out of which more than 50% of the panels are identical. Yet the individual panels and resultant smaller segments that are cut out are bespoke. By arranging these in several parallel layers, the system allows for a large amount of variation in the resulting overlay as an aluminum facade system with possibilities to create varying openings and shadow patterns that can also be used to generate a perforated lattice screen. As the material has small perforations like the Indian jali , in addition to its aesthetic makeup, it exhibits significant insulating properties.
Pragmatic applications will include pavilions with structural and shading properties for hot climates; interior applications; façade systems for new as well as existing buildings seeking climatic controls etc.
Sahya has been constructed for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia and is on display at Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, from 28 May-27 November 2016.