Part of FuoriSalone 2017, Material Immaterial brings together a series of experimental and interactive installations of architecture and design, highlighting the unique collaboration between internationally acclaimed designers and innovative manufacturers. Developed in partnership with NBK Keramik and Metalsigma Tunesi, WAVE/CAVE is a large sculptural terracotta enclosure that invites visitors to pause and reflect, one at a time, on the hectic speed of our world.
The experience of WAVE/CAVE is conceived as a deliberate counterpoint to the internal agitation and disrupted attention spans encouraged by contemporary media and technology. It is a study of the unease we all experience—a slow, quiet commentary on solidity, deep time, and the contemporary pace of change. A custom-developed system of unglazed, fluted terra-cotta blocks are arranged in a soaring assembly (7.2 x 10 x 3.6 meters) that is open to the action of life around it but accessible only to the imagination and the gaze.
The 1,670 terracotta blocks are stacked in three tiers, with interior faces carved to reveal a surprising ornamental richness as they describe a smoothly curved surface within the high perimeter wall. Conceived in collaboration with leading German firm NBK Keramik, the blocks were finished using a customized process that generated 797 individual profiles from the single extrusion used. The intricate pattern of WAVE/CAVE is called out in a lighting scheme developed by PHT Lighting Design Inc., with systems provided by L&L Luce&Light. The structural solution was conceived, produced, and installed by our partners at Metalsigma Tunesi, and engineered by Arup. Source and images Courtesy of SHoP Architects.