Sto Werkstatt has invited emerging architecture practice Bureau de Change to create an installation for the Werkstatt’s gallery space that explores Sto’s Intelligent Technology (IQ) coatings range. Designed to create a subtly evolving environment, Droplet will run between 14 October and 16 December 2016.
Droplet translates references from the rich industrial history of the London neighborhood Clerkenwell, into a captivating, sensorial environment. The focus of the space is a three-dimensional surface made of 100 petal-like forms and 100 pendulums suspended directly above in a grid formation, creating a field of vertical elements.
Inspiration for the forms comes from flower making tools, which were used in Sto Werkstatt’s building between 1876-1932 when it housed an artificial flower making factory as part of John Groom’s mission to train impoverished and disabled women to craft artificial flowers. The pendulums are a nod to the clock and watch making industry, which thrived in Clerkenwell from the beginning of the 18th Century, and in the surrounding Sekford Estate from the 1820s.
The sunken petal-like forms, which are CNCd from Sto’s lightweight facade material Verolith, will subtly evolve over the exhibition’s duration. Coloured liquid will gently trickle down the wires of the pendulums suspended above, eventually dropping from the tips of the pendulums onto the petals below. Half the petals will be coated in a Sto Intelligent Technology (IQ) façade paint whose patented micro-textured surface provides protection against algae and ensures that water runs off quickly and with ease. In contrast, the other half will be coated in conventional Sto façade paint, where droplets will cling to its surface, building layers of intense colour throughout the exhibition. While this painterly effect will be beautiful, the colour subtly hints towards the algae and fungal growth many facades are hindered with.
The full range of Intelligent Technology (IQ) façade paints will be on display in the materials library. The range has been developed utilising patented technologies of biomimicry, Visible Light Catalysts (VLC) and NIR (Near-Infra Red) reflective pigments. Each technology when applied to the appropriate environmental demands placed on a building can support: Cleaner facades (StoColor Lotusan); breaking down NOx pollutants (StoColor Photosan); quick drying facades (StoColor Dryonic) and heat management on dark coloured facades (StoColor X-Black).
Amy Croft, Curator at Sto Werkstatt said:
Bureau de Change has taken a very technical, scientific and rather un-visual set of Sto materials and reinterpreted them to explore the past and potential futures of architecture. The positive effects these facade coatings could have on our individual and collective environments are exceptional. We hope this exhibition and related events will position these solutions for healthier and more sustainable buildings at the forefront of architects, developers and main contractors’ minds
Katerina Dionysopoulou, Director at Bureau de Change said:
The main challenge of the brief was how we could utilise a product whose ‘magic’ effect is essentially invisible. The installation sets up a ‘compare and contrast’ scenario, whereby the IQ paint can be seen working in a live way.
Director Billy Mavropoulos adds:
The intricate handcrafting that went on in the building itself and the surrounding area, lead us in a clear direction for developing the shape of the installation and how its components would be formed. These narratives have allowed us to embed the product and installation into the history of the site.
An immersive, ever-changing work, Droplet will provide an insight into both the Werkstatt’s history and its present function as a home to innovative materials.