Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
critic: Jean JAMINET
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Tarika THIENAPIRAK & Fanny VARGA: The project for this studio was a new research facility for Vitra, the European manufacturer and retailer of innovative furniture design, for their industrial campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany.
The studio exploration encompassed Vitra’s greater design discourse dedicated to ecological and sustainable responsibilities as well as its commitment to innovative architectural design.
Multiple skins on buildings are commonly executed to manage external environmental factors. This project reinvents these more conventional notions of building performance by interpreting the biological processes of molting, and studying the physiological and material qualities of organisms that shed their skins to develop the formal as well as aesthetic logic of the building.
The building form is composed of a hard outer surface and a soft inner surface. The “inert” skin is the outer envelope of the form, which is rigid and more articulated. It serves as an exterior physical barrier against precipitation, temperature, and wind. The “reactive” skin is soft, flexible, and composed of cavities and conduits that permit the delivery of air, water, and electricity. The tearing of the outer surface allows the interior spatial volumes to reveal themselves, developing the main building apertures. The ridges and depressions in the ground create exterior public spaces and retention ponds, which serve to direct approach and make connections to existing site buildings.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
TT & FV: Cicadas and chameleons, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Florencia Pita, and Isaie Bloch.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
TT & FV: Reading: Michael Pawlyn, Biomimicry in Architecture; Janine Benyus, Biomimicry. Listening to: lectures by Tom Wiscombe; Disney music; Queen. Watching: Tim Burton animations.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
TT & FV: Isaie Bloch and Iris van Herpen.