Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Constructs Self-Supported “Vaulted Willow” with Ultra-Thin Aluminum Shells

The Edmonton Arts Council has commissioned Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY to construct an “architectural folly” in the Canadian city’s Borden Park. The project, known as “Vaulted Willow,” aims to “resolve and delineate structure, skin and ornamentation into a single unified system” by “exploring lightweight, ultra-thin, self-supported shells through the development of custom computational protocols of structural form-finding and descriptive geometry.”

Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Constructs Self-Supported “Vaulted Willow” with Ultra-Thin Aluminum Shells - More Images+ 10

© Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY

From the architect: 

SKIN: Vaulted Willow’s striated skin is an intricate assembly of structural shingles. These are similar, yet unique, digitally fabricated stripes that overlap through their extended tabs to double material thickness. 

© Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY

MORPHOLOGY: Vaulted Willow’s overall morphology is the result of a reciprocal relationship encompassing experiments in non-linear architectural typology (multiple entries, distributed feet with branching and spiraling legs), structural differentiation (bifurcation of structural download forces, tighter radii of leg profiles for rigidity...) and programmatic possibilities for a winding playground (hide and seek...) 

Nested Parts. Image © Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY

COLORS: Vaulted Willow’s colors are originated in its immediate environment, though for it to be an iconic destination within Borden Park, the colors are pushed toward artificiality. The greens and blues blend into a synthetic magenta, overlapping to reveal a two-way Cheshire scheme. 

© Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY

BITS AND PARTS: Vaulted Willow is comprised of 721 aluminum stripes, 14,043 connectors and 60 epoxy concrete anchors. The project uses aluminum of three different thicknesses. 24 base plates are anchored to a concrete pad of 240 cubic feet. It took four days, and a crew of four to assemble the prefabricated parts. 

© Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY

Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY is known for similar explorations. Recently, he transformed New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture with an immersive, pink, ultra-thin shell structure dubbed the “Situation Room.”

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Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Constructs Self-Supported “Vaulted Willow” with Ultra-Thin Aluminum Shells" 06 Feb 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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