Structures is an installation consisting of 50 architectural models realized by the studio Labics between 2014 and 2015.
The models were constructed from an abstract matrix whose generators can be traced back to few, simple, spacial archetypes that exemplify, in a synthetic manner, some of the recurring themes in the studio’s research: the boundary between interior and exterior, between dilated spaces and compressed spaces, between singular object and series, between architecture and landscape.
The matrix was set up, from the beginning, as a logical process based on three successive choices that came to form the rules of the game.
The first rule was to unify the size of the various models in order to render the starting point as neutral as possible. All models have been designed from a hypothetical parallelepiped with dimensions 20x10x10 cm, equal to the sum of two cubes with 10 cm sides.
The second rule concerned the choice of three different structural logics and therefore the adoption of three different materials for their construction. The chosen structural systems are exemplificative, both in language and in tectonic terms, of three common methods in architectural construction: frames, surfaces, and volumes.
The third rule also covered the definition of three different geometries inherent to the structural logics chosen:
- Frames: the base model has been divided into16x8 structural bays with a square base of 12.5 mm per side. On the base of this grid, solely the vertical elements of the frame have been built, materializing the horizontal weft only in correspondence with the interruption of the frame itself;
- Surfaces: the base model is formed by the intersection of 3 surfaces arranged along the longitudinal axis, 9 surfaces along the transverse axis, and 11 surfaces along an axis oriented at 45° relative to the preceding surfaces.
- Volumes: the base model is formed by 12 elements with a thickness of 17.65 mm inclined at 45° in respect to the lying position of the reference parallelepiped. The sequence of the elements is based on the alternation of solids and voids.
Since the structure, in a broader sense, constitutes the internal order of a system and coincides with the complex of the rules of relation and combination that connect the elements that compose it, each model of the matrix stems from the application of a certain spatial theme to the specific structural logic adopted. Once the architectural theme was established, every other decision was a logical consequence of the choice made.
Taken together, the models are a landscape in which we investigate in an iterate manner the relationship between structure and space; a landscape in which architecture is not described or prefigured in an allusive or analog way, as it occurs in the drawing, but is simulated immanently: the models are themselves architecture.
The exhibition depicts not an analysis or an exercise on form but a pronunciation on the role of structure in architecture.