Monday, August 6, 2018

An ode to fun and form

By Vinita Wagh
Photography: NAARO; courtesy THEVERYMANY
Read Time: 2 mins
"Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"

Mark Fornes’s signature fusion of art and structure comes alive this time as a playful canopy, resembling an inflated parachute or a circus tent.

The Marquise, a dual-coloured sweeping canopy, rises from the ground and embellishes the entrance of the new Westside Natatorium in El Paso, Texas. A modern take on the tectonics of Art Nouveau entrances, the design replaces the metal-glass awning, and crafts structure and skin into a homogeneous entity. Abstracted from the Parisian marquise constructions, especially those made famous by Hector Giumard, THEVERYMANY studio’s exciting surface sparks curiosity and makes a dynamic first impression.

"overview Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"
"aerial view Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"

The studio’s continual pursuit to accomplish the thinnest self-supporting surface is realised through the compound curvature of 520 exclusive structural shingles. Using shingles of two different thicknesses, partially overlapped along continuous bonds, provides better structural support and point load resistance. The ultra-thin, lightweight aluminium panels proliferate to create larger macro-shingles that wrap light openings within. The faceted, doubly-curved surface achieved is as thin as 1/8th inch in places.

"surface and support Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"
"experiential design Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"

The entire canopy stems from concrete seats at the base that enables it to engage with the users by offering a social space underneath. Basking under the Texan sun, this splash of cool blue and warm yellow shades is juxtaposed against the surrounding landscape, forming a dramatic pause that beckons one to linger in the patterned light for more than just a moment.

"cheshire colouration two way gradient Marquise Marc Fornes indiaartndesign"

From greeting all its users with enthusiasm to going beyond its intended purpose, this visually vibrant piece inspires, emphasises and celebrates the interactions between art and architecture. As with almost all of Marc Fornes experiments with interactive public installations, the Marquise too aims to provide a unique spatial experience for its visitors, while contributing to the visual identity of the El Paso and catalysing community engagement.


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