The Gwangju Swarms installation by NADAAA was designed as part of the Urban Folly Exhibit, 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale. The installation site is characterized by a road crossing with a diverse set of scales and building types that anchor each corner, a site in transition. Inhabiting this corner, the installation is chameleonic; encrytped within the logic of the branches, a seemingly animated structure floats overhead, peeking around the corners giving body to the space that was once occupied by the city wall. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Its width does not display the possibility of an intervention of any scale or gravitas. Its ground is strewn with infrastructure: electrical posts, sewer connections, street lights, and other technical paraphernalia that refute the possibility of inhabiting or redefining the ground. In turn, the street edge is defined by a row of trees, delicately placed within the remaining spaces such that their roots may find some traction as they navigate the corner.
Our project, then, is lodged in that interstitial space, between the ground and the sky, enmeshed in the natural space of the trees. Making use of a method of reverse casting, the form of the pavilion is defined by geometrically precise formwork that is then filled by randomly intersecting steel rods which transition from the linearity of a column to the more horizontal geometry of the floating mass above.
Architect: NADAAA Location: Gwangju, South Korea Principal in Charge: Nader Tehrani Project Coordinators: Ryan Murphy, Sarah Dunbar Project Team: Katherine Faulkner, Kevin Lee, Harry Lowd, Tom Beresford, Sina Mesdaghi, Mehdi Alibakhshian, Carolina Yamate, Aminah Alkanderi, Rawan Al-Sane Local Architects: Homin Kim (poly.m.ur, Seoul); Jung-chul Shin (President, Architect Design Group Co., Ltd., Gwangju) Construction/Fabricator: Hong-kyu Choi (President, Choi’s Hardware Gallery Co., Ltd.); Do-sub Lee (Construction Manager, Choi’s Hardware Gallery Co., Ltd.) Structural Engineer Consultant: Matthew Johnson (Simpson Gumpertz & Heger) Date: 2011