not to scale is part of a show called “Unpacking the Cube”, and exhibition curated by Andrew Zuckerman as part of his curatorial series at Chamber called “Human I Nature”, a grouping of shows devoted to the relationship between designed objects and nature in living spaces. not to scale is a design inquiry that we created for studying aggregated architectural strategies at various scales. In landscapes, architecture and cities "not to scale" can make objects, public seating, landscape elements and complete buildings. It is based on a building block, a volumetric right trapezoid with a 60 degree angle, that is a quarter of a cube and open on two ends. By flipping, mirroring, rotating and shifting this one shape and by scaling it up and down, infinite configurations can be made and a myriad amount of human interactions can be supported. We are currently working on a way to adapt a grouping of pieces to irregular surfaces through the development of a joint that would enable an aggregation of multiple pieces to respond to topography.
not to scale is one shape, repeated. It engages current areas of design production that address human occupation, comfort and luxury but expands these design approaches through its ability to scale and combine infinitely, to remain materially open (beyond concrete) and its capacity to integrate other materials that create softness, light, comfort and protection. "not to scale" is a stool made of one piece, a chaise made of four, a screen wall comprised of fifty and scales up to building components.
not to scale extends from two primary ideas in our practice: that space can be shaped in relation to a range of factors that are independent of the specificity of program and that architecture can be formed in relation to factors that are external to itself yet brought into the realm of the building through visibility, form and light. Reciprocally, the architectural gesture responds to and extends out creating a space of negotiation between building and context within the space of the immediate site.
not to scale began while we were designing a house in upstate New York called CC02 House. Each room occupies a single version of the essential shape oriented in different directions. The result is a house that looks north, south, east, west depending on what room you are in and the resultant geometry creates a series of complex spaces and a structural system all based on a simple idea of a 60 degree diagonal cut. CC02 House is currently under construction.
not to scale pieces are made of ultra high strength concrete, a specific concrete mix that allows the wall thicknesses to be narrower and stronger than conventional concrete. We like concrete for a range of reasons. Concrete can be used inside and outside. It is durable and its thermal mass holds heat and cool. Concrete begins as liquid and becomes solid allowing it to be formed and textured. The color of the concrete depends on the local quarry. Concrete is often not considered a finish material – yet even in its rough state, we find it beautiful. For a number of years in our practice, we have been working with (and often mis-using) pre-fabricated and site cast concrete for furniture and building elements. We have also completed several houses that use concrete in several different ways. Most recently, we have completed a square site cast concrete Bath House in the Catskills that contains both rough and smooth surfaces.
not to scale in the Chamber Show includes twenty four pieces assembled in various configurations that can be understood and experienced as objects, furniture or buildings. There are two finish types – a rough finish on four pieces that aggregate to a simple cube yet reassemble to a single piece of furniture, and a smoother finish on a larger grouping of twenty pieces that addresses different human interactions, from sitting or lying down to seated work to standing height work surfaces.
Special thanks goes to: Concreteworks in Oakland, CA for the fabrication of the pieces, Juan Garcia Mosqueda and the Chamber Team and to Andrew Zuckerman for his curatorial guidance.