Posts tagged with "Arktura":

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Synthesis Design + Architecture translates data into an expressive, CNC-milled wall for IBM Watson

Los Angeles–based Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA) recently completed work on a 1,100-square-foot sheath for the IBM Watson Experience Center immersion room in San Francisco. The interpretive wrapper—fabricated by Arktura in Los Angeles and executed in conjunction with an overall interior design by Gensler’s San Francisco office—is designed to express data visualizations generated by IBM Watson’s computing powers while also concealing the 350-square-foot sales space from view.

For the project, the design team interpreted and translated data maps depicting the volume of digital sales on mobile devices between 2013 and 2015 in order to derive an expressive moiré-patterned cocoon made out of dual-layered, curvilinear CNC-milled aluminum plates. The plates, backed by bright white lights, can be read by Watson Center docents in order to express a so-called “data narrative” in which Big Data—data sets so complex or vast that conventional data processing can’t process them—plays the titular role charting the growing influence of mobile-based sales.

Describing the project, Alvin Huang, principal at SDA, said, “The kinetic moiré effect that is produced as visitors move around the immersion room breathes some life into the static pattern, which speaks to the fact that data is live and constantly changing—even though the installation itself is static.” IBM Watson Experience Center 505 Howard Street San Francisco Tel: (800) 426-4968 Architects: Synthesis Design + Architecture; Gensler

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Arktura Forms Gensler’s Frameworks

Framework is made of 260 unique steel boxes, laser-cut and sculpted on an 18-axis metal forming machine.

When designers at Gensler's Dallas office dreamt up plans for a serpentine steel screen composed of hundreds of perforated cells, they enlisted the design-build talents of Arktura, based in Gardena, California, 14 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Though still mostly architects, Arktura's staff includes mechanical engineers and even a physicist. The company’s 50,000-square-foot space includes a design studio, an engineering studio, and manufacturing space where they produce furniture, architectural products, and custom projects—like the one Gensler took to calling “Frameworks: Cellure Structure.” “It's in our DNA to allow a lot of flexibility when we're working with design teams,” said Sebastian Muñoz, director of project design and development. Gensler's concept remained intact through numerous redesigns, Muñoz said, but getting it right required a lot of flexibility.
  • Fabricator Arktura
  • Designers Gensler, Arktura
  • Location Houston, TX
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • Material Steel, rivets
  • Process 3D modeling, laser cutting, 18-axis metal forming, riveting
“They wanted something that was really elegant and light but very architectural. They wanted it to have spatial qualities,” said Muñoz. The form wends organically across two axes, wrapping up and partially enclosing a space in the lobby of their confidential corporate client's Houston offices. To get that lightness without sacrificing structural stability, Arktura had to develop custom software solutions. The screen is made of 260 unique steel boxes, laser-cut and sculpted on an 18-axis metal forming machine. The solution kept the complex project within budget, said Muñoz, which would have been impossible if they had used custom molds for each box. Opting for cleverly formed sheet metal over pricey composite materials also reined in the project's budget-busting potential. Once they were molded, the metal boxes needed to be aligned perfectly so the inside of the ribbon-like enclosure would appear as one continuous unit. At the same time, they wanted the outside cells to protrude on one end, poking out slightly like scales. That is where Arktura's custom software came in. Though it does not yet have a name, Muñoz said the digital design tool could have other applications in the future. Arktura manufactured the object in nine separate modules before shipping it to Texas, where it was assembled on site. In all, the piece uses 9,500 rivets with 14,000 points of alignment. The massive steel screen appears to tiptoe on a raised floor, but is fastened securely to the concrete slab beneath on custom footings. Muñoz credits New York City–based Laufs Engineering and Design with simultaneously giving the project a powerful presence and an almost airy lightness. Gensler's team—Chris Campbell, Ted Watson, Paul Manno, Emily Shively, and Amanda Kendall—punctured each steel box so sunlight could pour through. The aperture varies on either end of those cavities, as well as from box to box, creating distinct qualities of light inside the space enclosed by Frameworks.
Shelves and lighting added after installation help hightlight vendors and exhibitors who sometimes use the space to show off their goods. As the wending form tapers off away from the shelves, the shape provides a natural space for a retail desk.
Muñoz said without the combination of custom software and clever prefabrication techniques, the manufacturing process would have seriously compromised the design. Now it's possible to imagine pulling off future projects with the same level of complexity. “The computing power was not possible not that long ago," he said. "We're excited about it.”
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New at NeoCon

We'll see you in Chicago at the show—while you're there, remember to pick up a copy of our latest Midwest edition, hot off the press! Until then, we offer you a sneak peek of our favorite finds from this year's contract furnishings market: Bram Boo Bench, VanerumStelter Belgian designer Bram Boo’s bench fosters socialization, rest, and work all in one piece of furniture. Four seats arranged in a square create four desktops and multiple ways to face others. The bench is available in red and black.
Dama Coffee Table, CR&S Poliform The Dama Coffee Table by CR&S adapts to a range of room configurations and styles. The seamless, solid-wood table is approximately 13 by 18 inches and is available in canaletto walnut and cedarwood finishes.
Seek, Allsteel Allsteel’s Seek lightweight chair has three storage configurations, allowing it to be stacked and nested without racks or trolleys. Available in eight colors with optional arms and a cushioned seat, a flexing back and ergonomic design make it a more comfortable folding chair, and a healthier one, too. Seek is expected to qualify for SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certification for air quality.
Lyra Collection, KI The Lyra collection from KI aims to fill a gap between formal and informal furniture. Bases are available in wood or steel, along with several upholstery combinations, allowing the lounge chairs, loveseats, and tables to adapt to modern or traditional environments.
Curio Table, Bernhardt Design Designed by Claudia and Harry Washington for Bernhardt Design, the Curio table is available in bright or muted lacquered colors, but also in a range of natural wood finishes for a more reserved look. The beveled top is available in 19-, 22-, and 42-inch diameters and is sturdy enough to accommodate a glass or Corian surface for high-traffic areas.
Urban Metallics, Carnegie The Urban Metallics collection is Carnegie’s newest addition to its Surface IQ wall-covering line of PVC-free surfaces that use only water-based inks and coatings, but still have high abrasion resistance and tolerance for bleach-based cleaners. The line includes a variety of metallic patterns and scales (Midas is pictured), each of which are Cradle to Cradle Silver certified.
Frost, Chilewich Contract Frost is an industrially-derived surface available in three shimmering shades, Black, Topaz, and Mineral, with a transparent fiber coating that changes the surface’s appearance depending on lighting direction. With the appropriate backing material, Frost can be used in a variety of ways including as wall-to-wall and tile flooring, floor mats, wall covering, and upholstery fabric.
Rodarte Textiles, Knoll Luxe Knoll’s luxury fabric division collaborated with fashion house Rodarte to create five upholstery and three drapery patterns named after poets and inspired by the fashion house’s runway collections. Auden (pictured) is an ombre pattern printed digitally on woven raffia and is available in four colorways.
Vein Cut Onyx, Stone Source Vein Cut Onyx from Stone Source is available in white or green, each with natural vein patterns and translucency. The 2-centimeter-thick slabs can be used for interior walls and counters, but are not recommended for kitchen countertops.
Enea Lottus Table, Coalesse Designed by Barcelona-based design trio Lievore Altherr Molina for Enea of Spain, Lottus tables are available in the full range of Coalesse veneer and laminate colors, with four complementary colors for the painted metal base. Four heights and diameters from 30 to 72 inches allow the table to fit a range of spaces and match several seating options, including Lottus chairs and stools.
Sava, Stylex Sava Cvek’s new design for Stylex is a multitask chair that combines engineering and aesthetics to create a versatile design. The chair is available with task or conference arms with a high or mid-back design with mesh or upholstered finishes and low-profile paddles to control height, tension, seat depth, and tilt.
DR Desk, Jofco Claudio Bellini’s DR desk design for Italian manufacturer Frezza combines a simple table with a carefully designed desk and storage element. The desk’s legs are carved entirely from solid walnut wood, creating a striking contrast to optional glasswork surfaces and painted drawers.
Flow Bench, Arktura Designed by LA-based Chris Kabatsi, the Flow Bench from Arktura is formed from eco-composite materials that are suitable for residential and commercial interiors. Available in orange, black, and white, the bench is 72 inches long, and next year will be joined by Kabatsi’s similarly fluid Squall coffee table.
FCB Series, Sedia Systems Herzog and de Meuron designed Sedia Systems’ FCB Series of stadium seats as a flexible option for arenas, auditoriums, and classrooms. The line includes fixed shell or gravity uplift seats and four upholstered VIP seats, with optional flip-up desk system and a slender profile designed to maximize aisle space.