Taking inspiration from the styles of Zaha Hadid and the “Bean” in Millennium Park, was this organically wild yet calming piece of architecture designed by Victoria Montoya and fabricated by Fabric Images Internacional. Playing off of shadows of light and dark to create texture, this fabric structure created a memorable connection with attendees. With a footprint of 20ft x 20ft, this structural fabric solution was a show stopper within an event celebrating interior designers, architects, and industrial and graphic designers.
The architecture was designed for the sponsor area of the Expo Habitat 2014 event and was purposed with creating a lounge atmosphere where attendees could escape the commotion of the show. Once in the space, it was a place to talk about trends in design and architecture. As for the solution itself, the designer was drawn to the characteristics of tensioned fabric but also envisioned the look of flowing waves across the surfaces.
Capturing the essence of moving water over a stationary element was accomplished through a combination of graphics and lighting. The graphic was designed as concentric spherical geometry which was manipulated to generate a surface that does not have a beginning or an end. The graphic was printed onto a Celtic fabric using a dye sublimation print process. While this created a visually tactile effect, it was the addition of color-changing front lighting that added motion. Combined, these qualities resulted in a 3-dimensional effect of pattern and motion; or better yet, rippling water.
Helping the fabric to take form was a structural aluminum skeleton. The structure was designed with minimal cross-members, while being floor-supported with a single tether. The locations of the cross-members were strategically placed to allow the fabric to meet the organic form that was designed. This strengthened the airy and natural quality of the design, while still being structural, light weight and easy to install.
The architecture showcases the organic fluidity that can be accomplished with tension fabric architecture. Combining graphics and lighting proved to be a dynamic solution which captured the designer’s vision of moving water. The intrigue of “dimension” drew the attention of attendees and allowed for the discovery of the fluid and dynamic attributes that made the solution a success.