The two-storey tall, suspended structure in the atrium of the Orange County Convention Centre, Orlando, Florida, curves, branches, splits, joins and re-splits to create a three-dimensional spatial experience.
“Under Magnitude” is a permanent structure designed by art and architecture studio MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY. The tubular branches come together within a Y-shaped plan, forming a unified system of both columns and beams.
For construction, the studio used a unique method that permits high curvature and extreme structural rigidity, optimises assembly time and enables an innovative architectural effect. In fact, the network of curved, hollow branches is strong enough to walk on.
This method builds upon and challenges Frei Otto’s notion of “Extensive Curvature” and the achievement of Otto’s Soap Bubble Model. Otto determined that a bubble, when blown up to the size of a room, is more structurally performant than a box.
The strength of “Under Magnitude” is achieved by “Intensive Curvature”, which is the maximisation of double curvature across the project while constraining maximum radaii. The result is a structure that has much tighter curvature with constant change of direction, and high structural performance. “Intensive Curvature” leads to the curly, tubular branching characteristics consistent across the studio’s project portfolio.
The intricate curvilinear surface is cut from flat pieces of perforated aluminium that are just a millimetre thick. Altogether 4 672 unique, precise parts, each specific to its position, were used in the construction.
The single-tone, continuous white coloration of the installation means its gradation depends on the play of light, which, in the large, window-filled atrium, is a copious element. Throughout the day, as light changes, the effect of the piece changes, its edges often falling completely away.
Full thanks and acknowledgment are given to MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY for the information given to write this article.
• 4 672 ultrathin aluminium stripes.
• 103 723 rivets.
• Dimensions: 7,62m (H) x 9,14 m (W) x 13,72 m (D)
Captions (Main Picture):
The intricate structure was constructed from flat pieces of perforated aluminium that are just a millimetre thick, yet strong enough to walk on. Altogether 4 672 unique, precise parts, each specific to its position, were used in the assembly.