Variable Densities

The figure is encased in a translucent box that crops the infinite surfaces produced by the transformation. The office develops plain boxes, for instance, while remaining equally committed to meeting the challenge of continuity, which gets surprisingly tricky where mundane conditions of orthogonality (or proper tectonic corners) are concerned. The rhythm of the south-facing studs follows a periodic distribution that aggregates proximate threads to within an inch of one another, closing the honeycomb and blocking direct sunlight. IJP, The Art Fund Pavilion, Woking, Surrey, 2009
Model of northwest corner, with zip-up entrance. Here the overriding issue is the differential filtering of natural daylight, so the emphasis is kept on each individual side, and the practical possibility of redistributing its indexical threads without altering the form
Geometry and algebra, the study of figures and that of symbols, separated more than 400 years ago; as noted in the introduction to this issue, this separation lies at the root of mathematical modernity, and reminds us that unlike art history, or even technology, progress in mathematics is extremely fast paced. High ranges are always used to solve parametric surface equations offering the opportunity of experimenting with the sturdiness of redundant lattices at drastically different scales, from a single room like the Art Fund Pavilion, to a 2.4-metre (8-foot) wide, 152.4-metre (500-foot) tall high-rise building. IJP with John Pickering, F01(b), London, 2009
Close-up view. It is orientated like a traditional artist’s studio for a maximum intake of northern daylight, and its envelope is made of pliant parametric surfaces extruded into a honeycomb, behind which a lightweight thermal barrier of acrylic panels marks the boundary of the exhibition space proper. The multiple intersections of surface threads establish a material continuity between discrete figures in space and enhance the cohesiveness – and stability – of the final piece. IJP with John Pickering, F01(b), London, 2009
Study diagram of intersection between the solid and reticular portions of the model. The proposal consists of a single room with four walls and a roof. Figure 5. ‘Stitching’ overlapping edges secures the water-tightness of contiguous walls, whereas pulling the edges apart produces zipper-shaped entrances and exits at the opposite corners of the room. Hence the tendency is to avoid discontinuous, piecemeal assemblies where each side of a notionally continuous envelope is dealt with separately, considering instead alternative holistic options such as plotting circles or ellipses with only four points, raising periodic expressions to a high exponent (IJP’s trademark Asymptotic Box©), or substituting Fourier summations for ordinary periodic functions, all of which involve bona fide blobs (successfully) trying to pass themselves off as a box. The materiality of the honeycomb is based on a lattice of flat, CNC-cut profiles of shallow radii meeting at a right angle, and the profiles are notched to maximise adherence without chemical bonding. A commitment to mathematics is not consistent with a bias towards a given style or Gestalt. In this project it is the curtains that carry the 3.6-metre (12-foot) high wall, frame and roofing material, and not the other way around. For IJP, variable curvature is not a matter of architectural vocabulary, but a heuristic device, an operative tool to conceptualise space.

Updated: 28.10.2014 — 19:42