The Forum – University of Exeter (GB)

Submitted by Derix Glasstudios/ Derix U.S.

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Client: University of Exeter

Location: Exeter, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2013

Project Team

Industry Resource

Derix Glasstudios

Architect

Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Artist

Alexander Beleschenko

Client

University of Exeter

Overview

In this Art Glass façade designed by Alexander Beleschenko, the artistic design is incorporated into 3,000 sq ft of Laminated Safety Glass Units. In total there were 92 surfaces treated on multiple layers of the glass units with ceramic digital printing. The interaction of transparent and opaque colors creates the vision that the lines seem to appear and disappear, which enhances the depth of the fluid forms. The three-dimensional effect is achieved by applying both transparent and opaque ceramic enamels.

Goals

For each panel and each of the 92 layers, high resolution digital files were created. The printing process was performed in two stages. All glass panels have been tempered, and laminated safety glass units were fabricated. The fluid form contrasts with the orthogonal brick volumes of the existing buildings on this steeply sloping site, and respects key views across the city to Dartmoor. Twenty-six different colors -- each representing a letter of the English alphabet to reflect the University's pool of international students (drawn from "Anguilla to Zambia") -- were printed according to Beleschenko's swirling tube designs. The result: vibrant, sweeping swaths of colors that grab attention both inside and outside the Forum.

Process

Wilkinson Eyre Architects, London, was appointed in 2008 to design this new centrepiece for the University of Exeter’s famously hilly Streatham Campus. Working with the natural features of the site, the scheme creates a ‘green corridor’ to connect the Forum with the wider landscape. It received the Higher Education Building of the Year award at World Architecture Festival 2013.

Additional Information

Technology and art come together in the artistic centerpiece of the new Forum development in the heart of the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus. Artist Alexander Beleschenko's stunning multi-colored printed glass design for the Forum's vast glassed-in areas was the winning entry in a competition among internationally renowned artists.