Client: Evansville Museum of Art History & Science
Location: Evansville, IN, United States
Completion date: 2014
Adam Buente, Kyle Perry
Project One Studio
Project One Studio
Cladding for the Immersive Theater was designed to exist as a natural, organic component encased in a clean white modern box. By using six species of wood veneer, a pixelated gradient is created that moves up through the dome from dark to light. This is conceptually intended to mimic the natural aging characteristics of materials that are exposed to the elements. In this way, the object seems as if it had always been in this place – an artifact that has been preserved by the surrounding building.
The existing 30’ radius dome was 3D scanned and digitized in order to geometrically subdivide into panels using a custom written software definition. The textures created from panel to panel give the perception that they are curling outward, as if affected by humidity, adding to the aging effect. This was achieved by subdividing the surface into planar diamonds rather than a triangulated mesh.
Based on the dome’s construction, overall form and surface imperfections had to be accounted for to allow our system to float accurately. Utilizing the original surface from the scan, we were able to calculate the distance from each of the panels’ corners. This was necessary to create custom spacers to adhere each panel back to the dome.
Each of the 1500 unique panels was CNC cut, associated with a specific size, species, and placement. This simplified installation, having a completely prescribed system with only one location on the dome for each panel, including custom door, floor, and wall conditions.
As we had also received the commission for the immersive theater cladding, we intended for the stair to be much more subtle in order to leave the dome as the centerpiece of the space. Through specific spacing of the machine toolpaths we were able to achieve a highly finished part while still distorting the light and allowing for the translucency we had intended. The pattern system is inspired by natural floral systems. We worked directly with the staircase manufacturer to design and fabricate a fastening system that would attach to their steel verticals.