Weirdly Wonderful Wooden Waves Ceiling Wins Gold Medal
How do you make a traditional Georgian building, repurposed as offices, represent the innovative design ethos approach of your company?
This was the question on our minds when we approached Mamou-Mani Architects to create something completely different within our London office reception spaces. The result is a visually stunning, sinuous wooden ‘wave’ that captures the attention as soon as you walk through the front doors.
This ingenious installation has been recognised for “demonstrating that complex forms may be achieved through application of innovative engineering” with a Gold Award from the American Architecture Awards 2016. It stands out as an exemplar of digital design and fabrication, and shows that form doesn’t always trump function.
Neil Billett, global design director, BuroHappold Engineering, commented, ‘ We are immensely proud to win this award for an installation within our very own offices. Working with Arthur Momou-Mani and his team was the perfect collaboration of innovative architecture techniques and our cutting edge engineering expertise – we enjoy slightly off-the-wall projects like this as it allows all involved to truly be creative within a defined space, and the end result is something really quite wondrous in its design and form.’
Not only is this installation highly decorative – it also works hard within the space, as an acoustic baffle, feature lighting and as a phase changer comfort moderator, perfect for evening functions and events in the reception areas.
‘Today, with the advent of digital design and fabrication tools, we can revisit these ideas and develop them at an even faster pace using prototyping, computer programming and simulations. This project is the direct result of that evolution. With a fabrication lab located within our studio and connected to our own computer codes, we are able to directly link our design process with the craft required to create the pieces. This pushes the design, material and machines to their very limit. The Wooden Wave, as an example of this approach, took at least one hundred prototypes to evolve into its final form. This approach results in a synthesis between architecture, engineering and craft, creating a unique and non-standard piece with the complexity of what masterbuilders could achieve with stone but with modern days tools, processes and materials’ explained Arthur Mamou-Mani, Mamou-Mani Architects.