MILAN — Let’s spelunk this stalagmite-filled ‘WAVE/CAVE’ spotted at Milan Design Week 2017. The structure is an open pavilion made almost entirely out of ceramic. Designed by New York-based SHoP Architects, the installation was part of Interni Magazine’s Material Immaterial exhibition (April 3 – 9, 2017) which brought together several experimental and interactive projects.
Though visitors are not able to physically enter the ‘WAVE/CAVE,’ the project serves as a sculpture prompting imaginations to take a moment from the daily grind to pause and inhabit the cave. SHoP founders Christoper and William Sharples tell Designboom, the work is “a wave that opens up to the sky,” and is a reaction to architecture’s evolution.
“focusing on this idea of solidity and slow-time is a reaction to what has happened to a lot of architecture over the past few years—WAVE/CAVE asks us to slow down and get back in touch with the weight and pace of architecture from other eras.”
On display at Milan University’s Grand Court, the work is composed of 1,670 fluted, extruded unglazed terracotta, in collaboration with German company NBK Keramic. Groupings of tubes were cut yielding nearly 800 different shapes connected to one another by steel bars and stacked in three tiers to achieve the 11.8-foot high sculpture, Inexhibit writes. The intricate geological appearance is further enhanced by a unique internal lighting scheme by PHT Lighting Design.
Christopher Sharples tells Designboom the installation is a re-presentation of a traditional material.
“Today’s technologies allow us to draw out their material authenticity in new ways. the collaboration between SHoP, NBK Keramik, and Metalsigma Tunesi on WAVE/CAVE was an effort to demonstrate the poetic possibilities of terracotta while suggesting new directions for its use in contemporary construction.”
‘WAVE/CAVE’ remains on view until April 15, 2017.
Do you love or loathe this work of contemporary ceramic architecture and design? Share your thoughts in the comments.