Towering Jigsaw Puzzle Curtain Made of Stone

Chicago-based design firm Studio Gang Architects, led by architect Jeanne Gang, constructed this towering puzzle piece structure called Marble Curtain. As its title suggests, the architectural piece is a curtain-like draping pillar made of stone. Each of the 620 slabs of stone used in the construction of the piece was shaped using water-jet cutters. Standing at 18 feet tall, the structure hangs from the ceiling of its installation site, weighing approximately 1,500 pounds.

Prior to Marble Curtain‘s initial installation at the Smithsonian Institution's National Building Museum in 2003, there had been no scientific information for this method of construction and support in masonry. At the time, the project states, “we chose to explore stone's structural capacity and challenge conventional thinking about this age-old material by hanging it in tension from the museum's vaulted ceiling.” After much research and testing, the team behind the project found that linking the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle would render it self-supporting, without any additional frames to hold it up. The structure was only coated with a layer of fiber-resin on the back of each piece for “structural redundancy.”

In addition to the remarkable structural composition of the piece, it is quite the sight to look at. Studio Gang utilized the translucency of the fairly thin pieces of stone (3/8″ thick) to highlight the beautiful patterns in each puzzle piece by backlighting them. As a result of the lighting scheme, we’re treated to this enormous, magical cape.

Studio Gang Architects website
via [pulmonaire]

November 29, 2016

Klimt-Inspired Golden Map of Manhattan Celebrates the Bright Lights of New York at Night

Though designer Rafael Esquer has lived in New York City for 20 years, he’s still in awe of its bright lights and buzzing nightlife. As the founder of Alfalfa Studio, a branding and graphic design house based in Lower Manhattan, he creates pieces inspired by his enlightening experiences in the Big Apple. His latest project, a shimmering map entitled Iconic New York Illuminated, captures the magic of Manhattan after dark.

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