DesignerNadir Abdessemed, Jakob Merk and Matthias Schuler
Text description provided by the architects. Clouds are important elements of our atmosphere, framing outdoor space and filtering sunlight. They are the visible part of the terrestrial water cycle, carrying water— the source of life—from the oceans to the land. Clouds find balance within stable equilibria and naturally sustain themselves, embodying and releasing solar energy. The ability to touch, feel, and walk through the clouds is a notion drawn from many of our fantasies. Gazing out of airplane windows, high above the earth, we often daydream of what it might be like to live in this ethereal world of fluffy vapor.
Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects create Cloudscapes where visitors can experience a real cloud from below, within, and above floating in the center of the Arsenale. Visitors find a path that is akin to the normal experience of walking through a garden. The path winds through Cloudscapes appearing and disappearing. Sometimes people only see the other people across the cloud while the path is obscured. The structure consists of a 4.3-meter high ramp that allows visitors to sit above the cloud. Simply, the structure leans on the existing Arsenale columns. The cloud is always changing so the experience of the path is also dynamic.
The cloud is based on the physical phenomenon of saturated air, condensation droplets floating in the space and condensation seeds. The atmospheres above and below the cloud have different qualities of light, temperature, and humidity, separating the spaces by a filter effect. The cloud can be touched, and it can be felt as different microclimatic conditions coincide. The scene is set underneath an artificial sky where the cloud can be touched and felt as different micro-climatic conditions coincide and where people are changing the cloud and meeting each other.
Originally published on 5 October, 2014