amphibianArc – Cocoon

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PLEASE NOTE – this installation was delayed due to travel and customs issues; yet it has been installed &  is available for viewing as of Monday, February 17 for the duration of Skyline (through Saturday 2.23).  Thank you for your patience!

This installation is part of the 2014 SKYLINE Event – held February 13 – 22, 2014, in Downtown Los Angeles.  For event information, please click on the ‘SKYLINE Main Menu’ link above.  For more SKYLINE 2014 installations, please click on the ‘Artist/Architect Installations‘ link above.

INSTALLATION SITE #4SONY DSC
Union Lofts Ground Floor – on the corner of 8th and Hill Street.  Entrance on Hill Street.
Downtown Los Angeles

amphibianArc – Cocoon

Concept

The installation, namely Cocoon, is a 6m × 3m × 4m full-scale model of an actual part extracted from one of the two public buildings designed by amphibianArc. At the back of the installation’s platform structure there is an illustrative board of diagrams, construction drawings and mostly prominently, a built-in screen at the center showing a documentary film of the installation’s entire design and construction process. The installation as a whole is not only an innovative, eye-catching art piece but also an accurate reference for future construction.

This installation demonstrates the feasibility of amphibianArc-designed Yi Chang Museum and Yi Chang Planning Exhibition Center in the historic Chinese city of Yi Chang. The design of these buildings drew inspiration from the shape and structure of silkworm cocoon, as a tribute to the Yi Chang-native Leizu, a legendary Chinese empress who invented and passed on the technique of silk production. While the exhibit, as a partial model of the real building, resembles the enlarged internal structure of cocoon. This installation is also an in-depth exploration in the field of parametric design. With an avant-garde parametric design approach, the team successfully managed to associate the project’s local cultural element with the broader Chinese history. The Parametric design was done in Grasshopper, a plug-in of Rhino, to generate the desired cocoon form. Meanwhile, the project’s structural Engineer BIAD adjusted the script to ensure that the model is structurally proven. With the help of parametric design, the team was able to rationalize the construction method by identifying the primary and secondary structure, and dividing the entire model into sequential layers, all of which was done in a completely parametric environment.

amphibianArc

amphibianArc is an architecture design firm headquartered in Los Angeles, with branch office in Shanghai, China. Founded by Nonchi Wang in 1992, the practice endeavors to synthesize between artistic expression and problem solving technique.

Through a shared disclosure called Liquid Architecture, his work, encompasses not only the curvilinear forms prevalent in contemporary architectural scene, but also ideogramic methodology which is the foundation of Chinese word making. Since its founding, amphibianArc has been designed a wide range of projects in both the U.S. and China, including the award winning Beijing Planetarium (AIA/LA awards, China Zian Tien Yo Award), Foshan Dongping New City Mass Transit Center (2011 MIPIM Architecture Review Future Project Awards), and Hongxing Macalline Furniture Flagship Store (2012 MIPIM Architecture Review Future Project Awards). The practice’s work has also been featured in publications including Architectural Record, Dezeen, LA Architect, and World Architecture.

Tel: +1 (323) 933-3698 – Fax: +1 (323) 395-0738

Address: 5670 Wilshire Boulevard Ste 1900, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA

Website: http://www.amphibianarc.com

Principal Designer

Nonchi Wang

Since his graduation from Yale University School of Architecture in 1987, Mr. Wang has dedicated his professional life in the United States to the design and planning of complex institutional and commercial projects. He launched his own practice in 1993, establishing amphibianArc. Design excellence and high quality service to the clients have been the defining elements of Mr. Wang’s practice. Mr. Wang has won national and international recognition through numerous design awards and publications.

While creative in nature, Mr. Wang is predisposed to theoretical thinking. This early tendency and ensuing education at Yale has provided him with a rigorous philosophical underpinning for his design works. His ongoing theoretical-philosophical thinking and investigation has been a visible twin to his most influential design works. His design theory matrix includes liquid architecture, ideographic (Chinese wordmaking) methodology, 3D calligraphy and evolutionary parametrism. Due to Mr. Wang’s Chinese cultural heritage, besides absorbing western science and metaphysics – the underling framework of Liquid Architecture, he naturally adopted the methodology of Chinese word making, creating ideographic formal repertoire to institute narrativity into architecture. The narrative property in Mr. Wang’s design is the main strength and uniqueness of his architecture.

Project Architect

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez joined amphibianArc in 2012, where he is currently working as a senior project detailer and technical adviser. His technical knowledge and expertise, as well as his design sensitivity derives from over 20 years of professional experience working with various design firms and on a variety of large projects. In his 10 year tenure with Gehry Partners, Mr. Rodriguez served as project architect for the MIT Stata Center and the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute. He also gained extensive experience on developing and implementing exterior systems through completion of construction. He joined Michael Maltzan Architecture in 2008 and was hired as a project architect for the San Francisco State University Creative Arts Center. During his 4 years at MMA he also worked on the Playa Vista Park Bandshell, Star Apartments, Biscuit Company Loft among other various projects.

Parametric Design

Brandon Vickers

Born in a small village in Eastern Ohio, Brandon was raised in the tall grasses of the Appalachian foothills by a pack of displaced marmots. Attracted by the bright lights and strange noises he eventually found himself in the bustling metropolis of Columbus Ohio. During his brief stint in Columbus Brandon completed his bachelor’s in architecture at The Ohio State University in 2008. After this there is a significant hole in his time-line. For a span of 14 months Brandon was on hiatus. Some speculate that he was roaming the lowlands of the American Midwest foraging for wolves, or that he that he simply took a shit job because the economic downturn, all we know for sure is that he reemerged in 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Here he earned his masters of Architecture from Sci-Arc in 2011. During this time he was also contracted into an indentured servitude at Xeferotarch under principal Hernan Diaz-Alonso. His focus, in these trying times, was on advanced digital representation and fabrication techniques. Expanding on these endeavors Brandon moved on to become a founding partner of the collaborative design / fabrication studio Alley 36. Here he is currently researching effects of entropy on complex compositions in a series of installation art and furniture pieces using a synthesis of ancient analog techniques and cutting edge digital process and robotics. Brandon is a highly functioning social recluse operating out an abandoned mattress factory is south central Los Angeles.

Project Manager

Charles Liu

Charles serves as the firm’s Project Manager. Having experience in real estate development, and both public and private sectors of planning, Charles brought a diverse skill set and a holistic perspective of the building industry to the company. Prior to joining amphibianArc, he serves as the Project Manager/Senior Assistant Planner in URS, China where he managed and participated in the designing of multiple award-winning projects.

Installation Supervisor

Xiaofeng Mei

Xiaofeng Mei joined amphibianArc in 2012 and has contributed to many projects including Hangzhou Wonder Mall, Zoomlion Headquarters International Plaza, Yichang New District Master Plan and DADA

2013 “Digital Infiltration” Exhibition. His motivation of the architectural forms exploration and skilled use of advanced digital methodologies are reflected in the design process. Prior to joining amphibianArc, Xiaofeng Mei served as an intern in Graft Architects China, where he participated in variety of large scale projects involving mixed use development project, residential master plan, high-rise architectural design, etc.

 

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