Tuesday, December 6, 2011

L'arbre de Flonville by Oloom & Samuel Wilkinson

Made by Samuel Wilkinson in collaboration with Oloom, L'Albre de Flonville is in Flon, the central district of the Swiss town of Lausanne. The work is part of a project to upgrade the entire area. Samuel Wilkinson, starting from the general concept of Public Square, set familiarity as a starting philosophy because the Square is a central meeting point for the citizens and it needs seating, shade and the opportunity to fully interact with its surroundings: buildings, flows of people and spaces, all in a modern and engaging context.  
Situated in Lausanne’s new Flon quarter. It is one of the first major works to be completed in a series of architectural and street furniture projects, as part of the regeneration of the area undertaken by Lo Holding group.
Taking the general notion of a standard public square as a starting point, the designers considered how best to create a space of familiarity, whilst still producing something both modernistic and engaging.L’arbre de Flonville is a metal tree created by British designer Samuel Wilkinson in collaboration with Swiss designers Oloom. The structure provides shade and seating in a public square in the new Flon quarter in Lausanne, Switzerland. The designers claim it is a modern interpretation of the tree as a meeting place in a town square.
The steel framework supports a canopy made from larch wood to proide shade, and steel ‘roots’ extend across and beyond the square, forming seating.The gigantic tree is 12 meters high, it has a canopy of wooden staves 16 meters wide, it is surrounded by roots that serve as benches, arranged symbolically to indicate some directions to other places in the city.At night the canopy and underside of the seating is illuminated by computer-controlled LEDs. The construction is 12 metres tall and spans 16 metres. Colour changing LEDs, hidden both in the tree and on the underside of each root, provide an added visual dynamic at night.
The crown is composed of five sides and was built with wooden planks of larch [very common in Switzerland] that give shade to people seated on the benches while they rest and meet each other.
placed in the tree so that the Square seems living 24 hours 24. the lighting is the strong point of the installation that, along with low power consumption LED, shows how even an artificial tree is friend of nature.


Driven by the specific criteria of a central meeting point, the need for seating and shade, and to visually communicate with spaces outside the square, the project evolved into a 12m high x 16m wide, contorting metal tree with a slatted wooden canopy. The tree is surrounded by roots that emanate out into different areas both in and beyond the square.

The designers developed a five-sided typology which allowed enough freedom, by drafting each face in turn, to grow the elements into derived botanical forms. The tree was grown manually (via 3D software) from the trunk outwards, each face splits to continue to form a new branch. The main tree weighs approximately 30 tonnes, consisting of a tubular steel infrastructure clad in painted 2mm stainless steel.
The larch canopy constructed from cylindrical wooden cross beams, 200mm in diameter, covered with lathed 40mm x 80mm lengths at 80mm intervals. The slats are directional and orientated to provide ideal shade. They create a interplay of perspectives that can be seen when walking below. Larch was selected for its warm character and excellent resistance to moisture under extreme weather conditions. No coating was applied, to allow the canopy to fade naturally, introducing an added graphical element while ageing.
Constructed in 2.5mm folded stainless steel mono-hulls, the roots tie the tree into the surrounding building complex. The sculptural roots weave through the square guiding the flow of visitors toward the commercial, entertainment and service centres of Flon-Ville. Designated roots are ergonomically shaped for social seating.
The red tartan floor links the city of Lausanne with the main arteries leading into the Flon area. As an urban ground covering, it offers a muted acoustical and visual environment. At ground level the surface has a thickness of 1 cm, contrasting to 6cm on the triangulated reliefs. This creates a subtle softness and intimacy directly beneath the tree providing visitors with an alternative seating option.The project provides a 21st century representation of the neo-romantic ideal of a tree in the village square – a common place for people to meet, contemplate or just sit and watch the world go by.


Faithfulness to and respect for the Flon area’s artistic calling led the LO Holding group, in collaboration with several International designers, to dream up an overall concept for exterior developments that will harmonize with the new architectural line and identity of one of Lausanne’s flagship areas. Ten street furniture projects, selected for their functional relevance and innovative design, will come into being from November 2007 through the end of 2008.

The purpose of this exterior development work is to provide real added value while re-establishing Flon’s reputation in terms of artistic creation. By calling on the expertise of industrial designers, manufacturers, engineers and architectural lighting specialists, all given the mission of investing Flon with a unique character, the LO Group is showing its desire to offer the people of Lausanne a decisively contemporary environment.
The projects currently underway include a pergola created by Atelier Oï studio, chairs, children’s toys, a community vegetable garden, and glass parallelepipeds for exhibitions. When complete, they will be a lively addition to the area’s urban landscape. Explanatory signs and informative markers will help passers-by to appreciate fully the various spaces. Flon-Ville’s L’arbre de flonville is a spectacular start to the series of creations marking the artistic renaissance of the Flon area, providing its western part with an innovative space that is open to all.


12 meters
16 meters
30 metric
Infrastructure of tubular steel
Shell Stainless-steel - 2 mm
Stainless Steel - 2mm
Multiple coats of anticorrosion paint (Monopol 2-component white 9010)
tree and roots
Computer controlled colour changing LED’s
red/burgundy Tartan rubber, with gloss surface treatment


Automobile Museum by 3Gatti Architecture Studio

3GATTI Architecture Studio (Roma dan Shanghai) memenangkan kompetisi untuk mendesain museum mobil di Nanjing, China, sebuah ramp concentric dari luar memungkinkan pengunjung dapat menggunakan mobil pribadinya dari luar, masuk ke dalam hingga sampai ke atas atapnya menggunkan ramp internal.

“The house is a machine for living in.”
With this statement, Le Corbusier acknowledges the relation between technology/mass production and the new ways of living that the modern movement tried to materialize. 
For him the house was a static car, a designed functional object that could be mass produced. When the Villa Savoye was completed in 1929, 5.3 million cars were produced in Detroit.
From this point forward, architecture and car started a long lasting relation, with examples such as Albert Kahn’s buildings for Ford, Giacomo Matte-Trucco’s FIat Factory in Turin, Archigram’s Drive-In House concept, the Mecedes Benz Museum by UN Studio and the recent Lincoln Rd 1111 parking by Herzog & de Meuron.
Along this line we find the new Nanjing Automobile Museum by 3Gatti Architecture Studio, which was awarded with the first prize on an international invited competition. The project not only shows the car in an unusual way, but it also lets you to experience the museum by car.
“Car Experience” is a project for a building to be dedicated to the automobile: the car as an object of desire, a world to explore, a technology to study, an article to display and a means to travel around the building.
Here the world of the automobile intersects with the human and organic world creating a new tectonic structure with methods differing from the usual flat open spaces, squares.All on a human scale. Here everything is geared to the automobile – the car is the point of reference.
3GATTI Architecture Studio of Rome and Shanghai have won a competition to design an automobile museum in Nanjing, China.An external concentric ramp allows visitors to drive around the exterior of the museum in their own car, past the exhibits to a roof-top car park. Visitors then descend through the museum on foot via an internal ramp.
It is difficult to identify one single and continuing exploratory theme in the work of Francesco Gatti. His aim is to experiment with heterogeneous solutions, each time meeting the challenge offered by his new creation’s specific conditions
From the ethereal virtual ceiling of the redevelopment project “In Factory” – his first Chinese work – to the curved forms of the Ze Bar, from the sculptural faceting of the Red Object to the spotted epidermis of his transgenic houses, the architect with Roman origins has never let himself be bound by a specific or recognisable aesthetic style.
The same applies in the winning project for the new car museum at Nanchino where Gatti has envisaged an origami on urban scale.The visual design backs up the fundamental practicality of the project in that it is the distributive organisation and the functional layout that determine the shape of the building.
The museum is articulated in two concentric helicoidal ramps; in the external one the visitor drives up the exhibition area in his own car, an experience that the architect describes as a “safari” because the visitor, as a motorist, is an exhibit himself.
The moving cars travel upwards diachronically (chronologically) in the folds of the origami from futuristic cars down below to vintage cars above and then up again to the car park on the roof of the building.
Here the visitor leaves his car and does the return journey on foot down the inner spiral ramp. Descending he sees all the exhibits as well as varying-sized glass boxes which house the complementary functions of the museum (offices, meeting rooms or laboratories).
Once on the ground floor the visitor can take a lift and return to his car on the roof, or perhaps he may find it waiting for him down below for as Gatti himself observes “In the China of opposites, those who have the economic means to possess a car also have the means to have a personal chauffeur.”
The architect describes the museum as a “movie sequence in which the principal actor is the car”, a building where two car-related panorama go hand in hand: on the one hand the architect’s conscious attention to motorway aestheticism and urban scale – the structures and materials remind one of a viaduct – and on the other, his transportation into the museum of the ergonomics of the interior of a car.
The furbishing and details within the edifice are related to and on a scale with its specific functions and it is not difficult for the visitor to imagine that he is in a car on a highway, rather than in a museum.

Here one will not find stairs to different floors, walls and elevators, but ramps which wind sinuously upwards creating a fluid conception of space, and where the flux of cars can move freely and reach the different levels of the building.
On an overall scale the area tectonically resembles a road, with a structure similar to that of an elevated motorway or a car park, but on a more human scale, the structure is as complex, ergonomic and sophisticated as the interior of a car.
The principal structure of the building is a spiral ramp with a glass partition dividing the exterior from the interior. In the internal part, reserved for pedestrians, the incline is more gradual, whereas the exterior and steeper side is for the transit of cars.
The building’s typology develops sequentially, its structure similar to that of a film where the undisputed protagonist is the automobile. In fact the visitor, as the spectator of a film, is obliged, frame by frame, to follow the physical and psychological route as dictated by the museum’s architect.

Slope car installation
The visitor enters the museum with his own car and initiates the exhibition’s journey as on a safari, going up the external spiral and experiencing a rather “extreme” sensation – as the ramp consists of rapid ascents and descents which create an undulating, uneven surface facilitating the exhibition of cars from different angles and enabling the visitor to observe them from either above or below. 
This alternating movement with its practical yet amusing function creates a corresponding visual effect on the outer façade of the building, which appears as a fanned sheet of paper, folded and refolded, and where each fold is an opportunity to exhibit at a suitable angle the cars which are attached to the inclining floor.

Paper concept
The route through the museum for the visitor who arrives by car will thus start at ground level and will ascend via the spiral ramp to the top of the building. Here he can park his car and enter into the museum on foot following the exhibition’s descent to the ground level via the more gradual spiral. 
He can then take an elevator to return to the top of the building to collect his car; should he have arrived in a car with a driver who is awaiting him at the short-term car park at ground level, he can go there directly from below and leave from there.
In this way visiting the museum is divided into two types of experience:
The first is the experience of going up in one’s own car. As one ascends one advances chronologically from the more modern cars down below to arrive finally at the vintage cars on the top level. With this route one starts from a ground display level where the ceiling is 9 metres high and one arrives gradually at the highest display at the top of the spiral where the ceiling is only 4.5 metres high.
During this route the car ramp is uneven and the abrupt ascents and descents as well as the inclination of the cars exhibited, encourage the observer to frequently change both focus and view point; this generates a versatile experience which is rich in visual and perceptive stimuli.

View points
The second is the experience of going down on foot. Contrary to the previous experience the descent starts chronologically from the display of vintage cars at the top and arrives at the more modern cars on the ground floor. 
The descending spiral ramp has an incline which alternates gradually from 0 to 7%, and thus the flooring slopes imperceptibly and takes the observer to the ground level with minimum effort, as on a slide. In this way it becomes possible to appreciate fully the exposition and not be distracted by steps, elevators or other obstacles; the visitor’s vision is free to wander, unencumbered.
Along the surface of the ramp there are occasional glass blocks or “prisma” which protrude from the flooring and ceiling. Their size, depth and type depend on their function as each one is intended for something different, for example if the area is intended for open space functions, or if it is intended for functions that require greater privacy such as offices, meeting rooms, conference rooms, laboratories, bathrooms or kitchens.

Bioclimatic section
The outer façade of the building is completely permeable and reveals on sight the interplay of the different levels and the fluidity of the internal and external spirals. The building could seem to appear as an urban car showroom, with its corners and angles filled with tempting shining automobiles.
The objective of this project is to become an international point of reference in the world of automobiles and an unmistakable landmark for the territory of Nanjing, immediately recognizable by whoever transits the surrounding roads but also visible from the sky and, why not, even from the satellites from which an increasing number of internet-nauts explore the sights of the globe.
Automobile museum credits:
Programme: automobile and car components exhibition, educational installations, design centre, office, workshops laboratories, technical laboratories, conference rooms, space for special events, restaurants, retail, sales office.
Architecture Firm:
Chief architect: Francesco Gatti
Project manager: Summer Nie
Collaborators: Nicole Ni, Muavii Sun, Chen qiuju, Jimmy Chu, Luca Spreafico, Damiano Fossati, Kelly Han.
Client: Jiangsu Head Investment group CO.,LTD
Location: Jiangning area, high-tech zone, Nanjing, China.
Total floor area: 15000 m²
Design period: May 2008
Materials: Steel structure, resin coating, glass partitions.