The wicker weaving technique is associated with the traditional manufacturing of small utilitarian objects. This technique installed in Chile since colonial times, stands out for its potential to build complex and resistant shapes given by the flexibility of the fiber and rigidity provided by the weaving. Based on these properties, this project by Andrea von Chrismar explores the manufacturing of the weave, this time in relation to the field of architecture. This research explores the potential of a natural raw material and an ancient technique of patrimonial nature, regarding new usage options. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The wicker woven surfaces change their behavior in an opposite way from design to architecture. While in the scale of objects the result of the weaving is rigid and therefore resistant to compressive strength (thrust), on the scale of architecture, these surfaces tend towards flexibility, which makes it especially resistant to tensile strength (stretching). The opposition of material behavior between the two scales creates differences in the design and construction process of the weaves; however the design criteria remain the same.
The thickness of the wicker fiber, the geometry that arranges the weave, the way that it is structured and the handmade technique used to build them, are the variables that determine the properties of this weave and its possibilities. These variables give the design tools for the optimal performance of the material according to use and scale.
The ability for building spaces that the weave reaches in the scale of architecture is the same that it has in objects, a proposal for maximum efficiency and perfect balance between form, strength and spatial quality. Architect: Andrea von Chrismar Team: Raúl Briones, Pablo Gonzales, Ricardo González, Julio Vidal Client: Self-commission Project Year: 2010 Construction Year: 2010 Weave Area: 27m2 Height: 300 cm Length: 900 cm Thickness: 0,3 mm Weight: 50kg each Weaving Time: 5 days each