A San Diego based biotech lab needed an attractive wall solution to hide the building’s mechanical pit from pedestrians. The client, ARE, wanted to explore the use of willow so that the wall would blend into the natural landscaping elements.
We proposed that the wall be constructed by merging traditional weaving techniques with a modern CNC produced steel frame. This method would allow a durable frame while maintaining an organic and ribbon-like form that compliments the natural and artisanal qualities of the willow material.
Through our research willow was determined to be unsuitable due to its lifespan of only 5 - 8 years in the Southern California climate. The project was then placed on indefinite hold due to lockdowns.
Software: Rhinoceros 3D, Blender, Adobe Creative Suite
Materials: Willow (various species), Sheet steel (CNC Machined)
Two sections of the wall were fabricated in house to study the properties of the willow and the way it would behave with a steel supporting structure.
The prototype was used to present the concept to the client and demonstrate how each panel would be transported to the site and fastened to each other and to the ground. It was also used by our team to study weaving techniques and willow varieties that would be attractive and cost effective to implement.
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