Blobwall Pavilion

June 09, 2008 /

SCI-Arc Gallery
Los Angeles, California, USA
On view: May 30, 2008 - July 13, 2008

An innovative redefinition of the brick - architecture's most basic building unit - into a lightweight object made of colorful plastic and reinterpreted into modular elements.

Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace

The Blobwall Pavilion is a contemporary wall system that recovers the voluptuous shapes, chiaroscuro and grotto-like textures of Baroque and Renaissance architecture in pixilated gradients of vivid color.

In the renaissance, palaces were designed to have a mixture of the opulent and the base, the elegant and the rustic. Stones were hewn so that they had planar faces for stacking and bonding but their outward faces expressed on their façades were left cloven and rustic. The Blob Wall is a contemporary rusticated wall. The three lobed form of the bricks is both so they can tuck together nose to forked tails as well as so that when rotated in a gradient series they become more lumpy and articulated./Greg Lynn

Photo courtesy Greg Lynn

Photo courtesy Greg Lynn
Photo courtesy Greg Lynn

On three walls of the installation, custom fabricated, mirror backed bubble cabinets display Greg Lynn's robot collection.

Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace
Photo: arcspace

Blobwall Pavilion is a collaboration between Greg Lynn FORM; Machineous, who manufactured the bricks; and Panelite, who produced and distributed the architectural material. It is an innovative redefinition of the brick - architecture's most basic building unit - into a lightweight object made of colorful plastic and reinterpreted into modular elements. Blobwall Pavilion is a freestanding, indoor/outdoor wall system built of a low-density, recyclable, impact-resistant polymer. The blob unit, or "brick," is a robotically cut, mass-produced, hollow tri-lobed shape formed through rotational molding.

I was born in 1964. My father worked for Container Corporation of America, where he was involved with the invention and first use of various plastic packaging materials. Like John Travolta, the original "Boy in the Plastic Bubble" I was surrounded by plastics. Now almost half a century later, petroleum based commodities are becoming new luxury items. Our everyday lives are surrounded by plastic water bottles, plastic cars painted to look like metal, plastic furniture, plastic implants in our bodies, plastic additives in our concrete, plastic wall materials, light filtered through plastic diffusers, thin plastic screens on our desktops; its no wonder glass seems so exotic to architecture as we are surrounded by so much translucent plastic. The Blob Wall is the first plastic brick that brings everyday life into a building scale masonry construction system. The Blobwall is lightweight and bears its own weight. It does not use the labor or expertise of masonry and the wet forgiving technology of mortar to become level and true. Instead, a robot cuts its joints and connections with precision. It does not rest on mortar joints, it is not even glued; the bricks are welded together with a tool used to repair car fenders.
The Blobwall pavilion is hollow and can be illuminated. Each of the bricks is fitted with a tiny computer controlled light and at night the pavilion comes to life taking advantage of its pixilated masonry construction. It is both product, like a child's toy, and building.
/Greg Lynn

Photo: arcspaceGreg Lynn signing Blobs at the opening.

Greg Lynn worked with a team of SCI-Arc students on the creation and installation of the Blobwall Pavilion in the SCI-Arc Gallery.

This fun Blog documents the process. Make sure to click "Previous Entries" at the bottom of the pages.

Go to: Blobwall Pavillion Blog

Drawing courtesy Blobwall Pavilion Blog

In September 2008, the Blobwall Pavilion will travel to the Venice Biennale as part of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building. 


Greg Lynn FORM:

Jackilin Bloom
Adam Fure
Chris Kabatsi
Daniel Norell

Andreas Froech
Jeff McKibban

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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