Project 3: Research – Zaha Hadid Sackler Gallery extension

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, extension was commissioned in 2009-2013. A gallery of two different parts, a converted 19th century brick building and a 21st century textile based structure (designed by Zaha Hadid Architects). The structure is made from tensile created from glass-fibre and forms a curved canopy which looks a bit like a sting ray crossed with a space ship (that’s just what I think).

I read an article about it in the Dezeen Magazine online, Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid. Also in The Architectural Review; Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine Extension exploits old and new. 

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Front facing view. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Front facing view. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are the main qualities I’ve been asked to identify when looking at textiles in context:

 

Art or Design

This is a bit of a weird one – it’s design because it’s about functionality, but it’s created for an art gallery and has a modernity to it which is fitting for much of the contemporary art scene today.

Temporary or Permanent 

Again another odd thing to consider – structurally it’s permanent, but the use of fabric (tensile) has the feel of and even look of something more temporary, the canopy look does have a bit of visual link to tents which are temporary structures.

Large Scale or Small Scale 

It’s definitely a large structure – and the glass walls/doors give an even greater sense of space by giving clear sight of outside from the inside.

Transforming/or Defining/or Forming – 

The textiles which form the building are in one sense transforming, the connect to an older, Magazine brick building, formerly unused, the structure opens up this part to the public. But it also is very modern looking and a contrast to the older brick building – it’s transforming in that sense too, bringing a modern edge to the gallery space.

Immersive/Distant – 

The textiles are immersive – the viewer is placed inside a structure made from textiles. However the structure is also clearly visible from a distance, given it’s distinct form and brilliant white colour.

Pattern and/or Colour/or Repetition and/or Shape – 

Shape is clearly the dominant factor in this design – the curves and fluidity of the structure, offer a really unique form overall. The external shape is mirrored inside with curved pole like structures which also allow natural light in the form of sky lights.

 

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Inner structure. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Inner structure. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a sense of repetition of form or shapes in what I’ve already mentioned. Colour isn’t a massive feature, with the fabric remaining white, however there are lighting elements within the structures, which allow colour to be added to the building. Lighting the building with different colours makes for a really striking finish at night (see image below for an example).

 

Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension at night. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension at night. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research: Architectural uses of textiles

Article; The Very Fabric of Architecture: Textile Use in Construction by Susanne Fritz, in Architonic. 

From reading the above article I’ve picked out a few designers/architects who have used textiles in an architectural form or manner.

Gisela Stromeyer Design 

Gisela Stromeyer lives in New York and works as an architect. She works with the fabric tensile to create what she calls ‘fabric sculptures’. Her use of tensile fabric is innovative, and has a sense of sustainability in mind. The fabric is re-usable, machine washable and able to be folded and stored compactly after use.  Her creations have found use in ‘private homes, promotional events, catwalk/fashion shows, inside offices and as theatre sets.’

I’m going to use the same format as I used to analysis Zaha Hadid’s Structure to explore a few examples of Stromeyer’s fabric sculptures.

The Neue Pinakothek Museum Muni Germany Friel Otto Retrospective Designed by Gisela Stromeyer Design.

The Neue Pinakothek Museum Muni Germany Friel Otto Retrospective Designed by Gisela Stromeyer Design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art or Design

The use of the fabric – tensile, and the context – celebrating a German architect seem to suggest to me these forms are more about design than art.

Temporary or Permanent 

The fabric structure or shapes were part of a temporary Retrospective in honour of German Architect and structural engineer Frei Otto. They were removed once the exhibition was finished.

Large Scale or Small Scale 

I’m not 100% certain but from the photographs on her website the structures appear large scale, at least large enough to fill some kind of hall.

Transforming/or Defining/or Forming – 

The fabric shapes have the effect of transforming the space they’re in, they appear to be tethered to parts of the original structure (pillars), but they have a fluidity about them that I think adds a sense of movement to what otherwise was quite a static looking space.

Immersive/Distant – 

The shapes fall at different heights in the space and dominate the central viewpoint, so from that perspective they are immersive. People entering the space will have to interact with the structures in some manner, be it sight, touch or navigating round them.

Pattern and/or Colour/or Repetition and/or Shape – 

As white shapes, there’s no colour to mention, but the forms are repetitive, some kind of curved triangular structure.

 

Snøhetta – Architecture, landscapes, interiors and brand design. 

Snøhetta is an internationally acclaimed practice of architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture and brand design. They have a collaborative approach with a collective of over 180 employee’s from 30 different nations.

 Tuballoon: Kongsberg Jazz Festival

Front facing view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

Front facing view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

 

 

 

 

 

Rear facing view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

Rear facing view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tuballoon structure was created specifically as the main stage at Kongsberg Jazz Festival based in Norway in 2006. It is reconstructed annually for the festival, and is compacted away into storage for the rest of the year.

Art or Design

I’ve picked design because the tuballon structure has several aspects to it which seem design led. The PVC fabric construction seems deliberate in enabling low/no interference with acoustics. The rear shape, or ‘clam’ as it’s known is supposed to offer a more intimate space or canopy for people to stand under for performances. Even the ‘horn like opening’ is a design feature – allowing for sounds ‘to exit unpredictably out into the surrounding townscape’.

Temporary or Permanent 

Construction/Deconstruction view of; Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

Construction/Deconstruction view of; Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

The structure is pneumatic and tensile, and has been deliberately designed to be quickly erected for the duration of the Jazz festival each year. The frame and fabric are then disassembled and placed in storage until the following year.

 

 

 

Large Scale or Small Scale 

The structure stands at 20 x 40 metres, standing taller than some of the surrounding buildings – I’d say that must make it large scale!

Transforming/or Defining/or Forming – 

As a temporary fixture to the area, I’d say it’s designed to transform the area, into a venue for the Jazz festival each year. It’s about creating a look and a sound that has the ability to make the region suitable for the purpose of the festival.

Immersive/Distant – 

I think the Tuballoon has dual characteristics, it’s immersive because it provides shelter, an intimate space at the back but distant because it’s large enough to be seen from further away and it’s ‘horn’ shaped front must project sound to some distance away.

Pattern and/or Colour/or Repetition and/or Shape – 

Blue lit view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

Blue lit view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow lit view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

Yellow lit view of: Tuballoon Structure, Kongsberg Jazz Festival. Architects: Snohetta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly the structure in it’s natural form is white, but I found these pictures on the Snøhetta Site which demonstrated how the structure could be used with colour. It definitely adds a level of luminosity to the structure! The shape is central to the design and is context specific. The description on their site describes the ‘geometry as suggestive of natural acoustic forms such as musical wind instruments and geometries of the inner ear’ which is apt for a venue for a Jazz Festival.

 

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