On April 11, Los Angeles–based firm B+U will open their latest installation, called Apertures, at SCI-Arc Gallery. The structure, already assembled inside the space, is 16-feet-tall and made up of 233 1/8-inch-thick plastic panels. Its warped shape resembles a natural organ or organism (a heart? a strange alien plant?), and in many ways it acts like one.
Inside Apertures (Sam Lubell/AN)
Its thin shell structure relies on its molded surfaces for support. Each of its CNC-milled, heat-formed panels is unique in shape, and, through seven heat sensors, it responds to visitors via sound, which will be directed from the floor.
The piece’s name—Apertures—refers to the many varied (both in size and shape) openings in the structure, which act, as B+U principal Herwig Baumgartner described, “not as punched openings, but as three-dimensional objects.”
Baumgartner noted that installation makes a good case for thin shell structures in architecture, a field that colleagues like Tom Wiscombe and Greg Lynn are also exploring with industries like shipbuilding and aerospace: “Why do we have this approach with so many layers? Why can’t we reduce them and make them do more?” said Baumgartner.
The structure was engineered by LA company Nous.Closeup of one of the structure’s many openings (Sam Lubell/AN) Study rendering (B+U) Digital shape making for the installation. (B+U)