Architecture for the Future
We have just completed the construction of a sculptural pavilion showcasing the possibilities that exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Designed by Danish architects 3XN, the pavilion is part of a ‘Green Architecture for the Future’ exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Company has unique experience in working with complex shapes and unusual materials, along with a broad palette of problem solving skills, which meant we were well placed to both manufacture and install this highly innovative structure, which follows the shape of a Moebius band and was built using natural fibres – naturally derived resin and cork from sustainable sources. Well-known synthetic products were substituted with new biological and re-useable materials, many of which had not previously been used for such an application.
The Company worked closely with Kasper Guldager Jorgensen of 3XN, structural engineers COWI and David Kendall of Optima Projects on the detailed design, determining the possibilities and limits of the materials to be used. The panel composition was specifically designed and manufactured to meet the dynamic forces arising from both the wind load and from people walking on the surface.
Twenty different companies were involved in the project, working together over a period of just four months. “The ambitious, cutting edge nature of the project, along with the many over-lapping areas of innovation, called for an exceptionally high degree of collaboration and cooperation,” said Edwin Stokes, Composites Development Director. He continued, “This meant the processes of concept, design, innovation and production happened at a rapid pace, which called for an adaptable and creative approach.”
Our in-house CNC facilities were used to manufacture moulds for the seven different panels, with each consisting of 14 layers of woven fibre and 84mm of cork and being laid up by hand a time consuming undertaking, especially with a timescale of just six weeks from agreeing the design and receiving the materials, through to installation. Each panel had to be made to a tight tolerance so that they all connected to form the Moebius loop.
Finally, a fundamental yet highly complex element of the project was the installation. Each of the panels had to be precisely positioned in space before being connected with bolted plates and slowly lowered into position as a whole. This required us to draw on our extensive rigging experience, designing a truss specifically to undertake this complicated installation process.