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La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

By drawing from our historically predominant obsession with the heavy and the permanent, La Voûte de LeFevre Installation re-examines our current addiction to the thin. The rapid, efficient and surface-oriented digital fabrication is used as a modern equivalent of ancient stone carving, marrying the two major architectural parameters – surface and volume. Designed by the New York based Matter Design, the project was preceded by an extensive research dealing with the eco­nom­i­cally friendly sheet mate­r­ial, while main­tain­ing a com­mon thread of a ded­i­ca­tion to vol­ume.

Some of the earlier project that paved the path to La Voûte de LeFevre dealt with vol­u­met­ric occu­pa­tion through bend­ing from 2d to 3d. More recently this desire has for­mal­ized into stereotomic research (the art of cut­ting solids, most typ­i­cally stone). These projects mined the past knowl­edge of stereotomy as a way to robot­i­cally carve foam for tem­po­rary instal­la­tions. The irony of these projects is they apply knowl­edge from heavy stone con­struc­tion to light tem­po­rary projects that require ten­sile cables to stand.

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

Project description:

“The vault is com­puted with a solver-based model that elic­its a compression-only struc­ture, from a non-ideal geom­e­try. The model requires a fixed geom­e­try as input, and opens aper­tures in order to vary the weight of each unit. This dynamic sys­tem re-configures the weight of the units based on a vol­u­met­ric cal­cu­la­tion. If unit A con­tains twice the vol­ume of unit B, then unit A weights twice as much. It requires that the mate­r­ial of the project be con­sis­tent, and solid (hol­low does not work). The com­puted result pro­duces a project that will stand ‘for­ever’ as there is zero ten­sion in the sys­tem pre­cisely because of the weight and vol­ume of the project, and not in spite of it.

The vault is pro­duced with Baltic Birch ply­wood. The ply­wood is sourced in three quar­ter inch thick sheets await­ing the ‘thick­en­ing’. Each cus­tom unit is dis­sected and sliced into these thick­nesses, cut from the sheets, and then phys­i­cally re-constituted into a rough vol­u­met­ric form of their final geom­e­try. These roughs are indexed onto a full sheet and glued, vac­uum pressed, and re-placed onto the CNC (com­puter numer­i­cally con­trolled) router.”

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

La Voûte de LeFevre Installation, Matter Studio, digital fabrication, plywood sculpture, patterns

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