David Mach and Herzog & de Meuron
The boundaries between the natural and artificial are becoming blurred, and works of art and architecture demonstrate such state. David Mach, for example, is able to create stunning organic sculptures using hangers, and architects like Herzog & de Meuron push the boundaries of what conventional materials can achieve through light and other media . It is the relationship between the natural and artificial that this project plays with both on the landscape and in the building. 01
Fusion of Natural and Artificial
On the landscape, this is expressed through the coexistence of a metallic perforated version of the asparagus and the natural vegetation.
In the building, this condition happens through the inside and outside states of the skin. While the exterior is a rough metallic skin, the interior is a natural indicator of heat temperature through colors and light, mimicking the process of annealing or heat treatment. 03
Annealing, in metallurgy and materials science, is a heat treatment wherein a material is altered, causing changes in its properties such as strength and hardness. It is a process that produces conditions by heating to above the recrystallization temperature, maintaining a suitable temperature, and then cooling. Annealing is used to induce ductility, soften material, relieve internal stresses, refine the structure by making it homogeneous, and improve cold working properties. In the cases of copper, steel, silver, and brass, this process is performed by substantially heating the material (generally until glowing) for a while and allowing it to cool. Unlike ferrous metalsâ€”which must be cooled slowly to annealâ€”copper, silver and brass can be cooled slowly in air or quickly by quenching in water. In this fashion the metal is softened and prepared for further work such as shaping, stamping, or forming. 05
Color emissivity can be controlled inside the building, giving the impression, from the outside, that the entire massing is being heated or cooled. This is possible because of the various perforations on the skin, some which connect the inside and outside.
The experience both of the landscape and the building is intended to heighten one's awareness of artificial and natural conditions and processes, in order that one may be able to imagine a near future where perhaps the real and the artificial, and even the virtual, will synthesize into one reality, or technological singularity. Here thus is a case study, a proposition of such future: The coldness of a metallic, partly melted landscape superimposed by unexpected lush vegetation as the site of a metallic structure in constant chemical reaction, heating and cooling, emitting light, welcoming and surprising the visitors to the Milan exposition. Country: Argentina, one of the greatest producers of asparagus.
Design Process Site and Circulation: Milan Expo
Design Process Program
120 + 20 sqm
145 sqm 512 sqm
Design Process Section and Plan Drawings