Friday, May 29, 2009

Mind the Gyre

Phila likes these structures (well, kind of) and so do I:

[T]he special cladding system was installed on-site by forming foil-thin steel into structural shapes and then coating the inside with [CFC-free] spray foam insulation. The polished and crinkled steel not only provides windowsills and eaves but creates an interesting facade of fragmented reflections of sky, forest, and grass which gives the buildings a striking look that is entirely made up of their surroundings.

The timber-framed sheds are split down the middle to accommodate a common entry and provide substantial daylighting and ventilation to the studios on either side.
I'm generally wary of metal as a design element -- too harsh, too cold -- which is why I insist that all my buildings, furnishings, and vehicles be made of wood, thatch, rawhide, or peat. In this case, though, the surface reflectiveness and its unevenness removes much of what I don't like about metal.

There are practicalities to consider, however. In a forested setting, as shown here, the buildings will take on a calming green appearance. Set in a pasture amid cows and sheep, they would enhance the delightfully pastoral qualities of the setting. If applied to several consecutive structures in a dense urban residential area, however, it would risk becoming a gyre of hideous glare under conditions of daylight, and at night, if (heavens forbid) a car should pull up with its high-beam headlights on, it's legal blindness all around.

Beware. Meanwhile, admire the resourcefulness and unexpected elegance.

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