foto: Takehiko Katayama

When the „Stone Variations“ exhibition was being prepared at the National Building Museum in Washington in 2003, its curator Stanley Tigerman also invited the well-known American design company Studio Gang from New York and Chicago to participate.

The aim was to present an innovative approach to stone, which is a very traditional material.

It is generally known that stone works best when exposed to compressive stress. That is, when it stands on something – preferably something that can bear its weight. This is knowledge that is thousands of years old.

Studio Gang has decided to give up conventional thinking…

The designers at Studio Gang decided to tackle a completely different approach. They decided to explore the structural possibilities of suspended stone.

The proposed task was very difficult and demanded a lot of calculations – incuding quite innovative ones. By the way, there were restrictions. Preliminary findings showed that the floor in the museum could hold too much weight, but on the contrary, the ceiling has a relatively large load-bearing capacity.

Then structural studies of stone began. A team of engineers consisting of Joseph Burns, Faz Ehsan, Thornton Tomasetti and Peter Hoppel calculated that by connecting pieces of marble into chains, it was possible to create a surface that could be hung from the ceiling. What is more: such a structure can hang without being supported by any frame.

Elements in the shape of popular puzzles were cut out with a water jet. Each element was reinforced by lamination with a fibrous backing and soaked in resin.

The finished marble curtain was almost 5 and a half metres high, was made of 620 pieces of marble and the total weight of the structure was 680 kilograms.

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Photo Jim Tetro

Source:  Kurier Kamieniarski 

Author: Kurier Kamieniarski | Published: 4.11. 2016