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Despite the regular use of domes, the Minaret is the only architectural feature that is synonymous with mosques. Above are two examples of highly decorated minarets, separated by just short of 900 years. The much discussed Brick Lane minaret, constructed at the end of 2009 is a stainless steel structure, rising up to 90ft in amongst a highly dense part of London. The minaret is the first religious structure added to a building that has been used to house worshipers of different religions over around four centuries and has been accused of pointlessly labeling a structure that does not require it. It is however a beautifully worked piece of metal sculpture. The Islamic pattern is clinically cut using some sort of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), most likely a water jet cutter; as suggested for cutting the Wallpaper Balustrade. The other, the Kalyan Minaret located in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Constructed in 1127, this looks like a possible precedent for the whole Brick Expressionism movement, with the brick used as decoration and well as structure.

The culmination of a large proportion of the material work with Wallpaper in the Grapes public house is this balustrade. As set from the image displayed in Perforated Wallpaper this balustrade is set to frame the view of the River Thames as described in Two Corridors using the layering techniques of two of the original wallpapers as set in Wallpaper Amalgamation. The balustrade itself is copper coated acrylic as shown in Fake Copper, but in practice would be waterjet cut copper. The two patterns as well as creating a visual screen also act as structural aids to each other to mean that the balustrade could span the width of the Grapes.

 

This may well look like Copper. In fact it also feels like copper. To say it is not copper at all would be a lie, however the fact that this is the same laser cut clear acrylic as in Acrylic Wallpaper adds more credence to this process. It is actually called Electroforming, where the original acrylic was layered in Silver and then electrically coated in Copper. This was then sprayed in an acidic solution which caused it to oxidize and turn green. The most convincing fake I have seen.

Similar to the previous laser cut patterns in Perforated Wallpaper, these were scaled at 2:1 to make much larger perforations but with the same moments of interaction and cut from 3mm clear Acrylic. These may form the basis to proposed balustrading to the rear of the Grapes public house, concentrating on the link between the pub and the river Thames.

Off-cuts from laser cutting the floral wallpaper pattern used in Perforated Wallpaper were used as initial investigative modeling for street furniture. Despite quite a literal translation of form it does show a complete change in scale and arguably, quite a lovely bench.

To further the amagamation of two of the wallpaper patterns taken from the Grapes public house, shown in post Wallpaper Amalgamation, both patterns were laser cut in MDF and overlaid on top of each other. This gives a two dimensional thing new three dimensional properties. It also creates new pattern of its own, especially due to the perforation inducing moments of revalation.

The same off cuts from laser cutting wallpaper patterns that were used in More Than Wallpaper were also used for initial modeling on the shore of the Thames next to the Grapes public house. As mentioned before in the post Two Corridors, the Grapes’ relationship to the Thames is very important and the potential for an intervention here is very strong.

From laser cut patterns of one of the wallpapers from the Grapes public house, which were also used in the post More Than Wallpaper, a rubber jacket mould was taken and resin based mouldings were cast. With the resin are various other materials to make each one take on different aesthetic and tectonic properties, the materials include gold, aluminium, bronze, graphite, and onyx. Below are a selection of the mouldings.

 

Caruso St John Architects have just unveiled the new Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre, which takes inspirations from both the physical nature of the site and the architectural character of the warehouses in the lace market near to it. The most interesting feature though is the lace moulds for the external facade, which have taken original lace patterns and machine milled by computer control an original, from which a mould can be taken and then several concrete precast units can be formed. You can read The Architects Journal here.

Wallpaper Tower

You may remember the wallpaper from The Grapes that was drawn up. Well it is starting to take on a 3D form, not quite sure at what scale yet or for what exact purpose but I thought it would be good to show that there is initial workings and many investigations that may not lead to an answer but may still inform the final output.

The picture also seems reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin.