Australian architects AR-MA chose a winning combination of robot-aided production and the seamless solid surface Corian to form the winning entry for the second year of the Fugitive Structures competition run by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.
The competition is open to emerging architects to design and create a structure that employs the very latest technologies.
Fusing hundreds of exterior Corian® panels with black mirrors using a series of intricate components, Trifolium is a weatherproof, futuristic pavillion guaranteed to stand the test of time in the zen garden at the foundation’s gallery in Sydney.
Trifolium, named after its three-pronged design, creates a canopy that can be used as a meeting place, an auditorium or a stage for events. The outside of the structure is made from 152 Corian® panels, with each one fixed to a corresponding piece of curved black mirror-polished stainless steel using 452 unique steel brackets. The effect is an intricate web-like joining that distorts your view, depending on the angle you view the structure from.
AR-MA used structural analysis software to monitor the stiffness and strength of the materials and components for this self-standing structure. All of the parts were fabricated and produced off-site and then assembled over the course of eight days, providing extra efficiency and reducing waste on site. The Corian® panels were built around scaffolding to produce a sealed, watertight surface before the inside was assembled beneath the panels.
The shelter can be used both day and night, with recessed fibre optic cables laid in the concrete flooring underneath providing intricate patterned light reflected by the mirrors within.
AR-MA’s director, Robert Beson, revealed of their winning design: “There are thousands of components and each one is unique. The only common elements are the bolts and screws that hold it together, so really it's a logistical project of tracking and managing all of the information and material.”
Trifolium will remain on display in the zen garden until the end of October, with the judges branding the canopy “an innovative structure based on state-of-the-art technologies offering functionality as well as a futuristic aesthetic.”
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