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Formlessfinder. Design miami 2013.

designmiami13-Formlessfinder1tent pile | | 2013 / click > enlarge

Since 2008, / has commissioned emerging architecture practices to design unique architectural experiences at the fair. For Design / 2013, formlessfinder fabricated a pavilion using a material near and dear to the residents and visitors of : sand.
NYC-based formlessfinder is composed of Garrett Ricciardi and Julian Rose. An experimental laboratory and theory studio, their practice is described as “formless,” where materials, construction, and user and landscape interactions take precedent over the formal shape of a building or structure. Though they produce manifestos and missives (and have a forthcoming book), the studio employs heady concepts in very real ways.
“Form is often the default lens for thinking about architecture. Even when people think they’re talking about something else, like function or structure, there’s often some kind of formal idea underlying the discussion. We’re trying to shift away from form so that we can explore other qualities of architecture, such as new ways of experiencing space or innovative ways of using materials,” explains Rose.


Their pavilion for this year’s fair, TENT PILE, will have a foundation of 500 tons of sand supporting a custom-milled aluminum cantilevered roof. After researching the unique geology and geography of Miami, formlessfinder found it intriguing that much of the city’s architecture sits on this ever shifting material. Inspired by the fluidity required of local building techniques and the city’s unique tropical-modern architecture, formlessfinder designed a tribute that displays the unexpected possibilities of materials.
Sand, which is so often a problem of great concern, is turned into an advantage. It will be used to support the aluminum roof in lieu of an excavated foundation, and will also be completely re-usable after the fair is over.
To design the roof and subsequent seating, the architects enlisted the support of Alcoa, a major producer of materials and industrial design, and third-generation aluminum fabricator Neal Feay. Both were integral in the realization of the ambitious truss design of the roof, executed in raw aluminum.


The pavilion will be a refuge for the more than 50,000 visitors who come to Miami for the fairs each year. It is intended as a public installation that marries the practical requirements of shelter and seating to spectacular creative architectural ideas. “We’re hoping to create something that people would want to participate in,” says Ricciardi, and the result is a structure designed to be occupied and explored, as much as it is to be admired. [ designmiami log ] [ design miami/ ] [ formlessfinder ] [ @designmiami #designmiami ]

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