‘Emergence’ is a lighting sculpture commissioned by Caviar House & Prunier for their flagship outlet in the departures lounge of the new Heathrow Terminal 2 and developed in collaboration with Cinimod Studio.
The sculpture is named after the term, emergence, for larger regular patterns derived from smaller constituent entities which in themselves do not display those patterns. Emergence is a characteristic of the schooling behaviour of fish populations and the 350,000 individually controllable LED set within 152 arcs on the 13m high structure form a sculptural expression of the fascinating light shimmers from reflected sunlight that emerge across the collective bodies of a school of fish as dart through water.
The principal structural material for the sculpture is carbon fibre which allows seamless joints between the central mast, itself just 150mm in diameter and the outrigger arms and compression hoops, and the lighting arcs themselves which are mounted on the thinnest possible cantilevered arms.
Data and power cables thread their way through the hollow structure to every single LED to allow the lighting patterns of the sculpture to be programmed in billions of sequences.
Every detail of the sculpture, with the exception of the stainless steel tension rods, is of bespoke design, right down to the hollow connectors that allow the 152 cantilevered arc supports to be fixed to the hoops while allowing cables to pass through.
The simple form of the two pavilions of Casa Kike belies the complexity of their geometry but by adopting a flexible approach to the design the buildings were delivered using local technologies with column-free spaces of up to 78m².
A reassessment of the design process was therefore required. Rather than following the strict hierarchies and rigours normally associated with formal engineering design the process was more of holistic guidance without stricture. It was important that the structural design complemented not only the architecture but also the local technologies and craftsmen which led to an iterative process.
The two detached pavilions – one for daytime and one for night – are identical in form but at different scales and linked by a timber walkway threaded though the trees. The pavilion form on plan is a parallelogram but while the floor is horizontal, the roof not only projects at the front and rear to form a canopy but it also slopes in two directions; from front to back and across the width.
The structure is entirely visible inside the building and consists of timber beams and posts that are aligned on two non-orthogonal grids; one parallel to the front and rear edges of the roof and the other perpendicular to the sides, spanning the shortest distance between the walls.
The minimum roof span between the two walls is 10m and Laurel timber was sourced locally from a plentiful supply that was available at that length.
Both pavilions are supported on an array of Cacha timber mini-piles that are naturally resistant to decay and commonly used in Costa Rica. These piles are cut directly from the trunk and so diameters vary but average around 250mm. They are sunk into hand-dug pits, rather than driven, and encased in a small amount of concrete below ground. The piles also form stilts to raise the building just over a metre off the ground.
The building’s footprint on the ground is therefore very light and throughout the construction period the site remained lush with grass, even under the building, and none of the surrounding trees were harmed or felled.
IStructE Structural Awards 2008, Winner
Lubetkin Prize 2008, Winner
RIBA Award 2008, Winner
RIBA International Award 2008, Winner
Chicago Atheneum International Architecture Award 2008, Winner
AIA (UK) Excellence in Design Award 2009, Winner
World Architecture Festival 2008, Shortlisted
AR House Award 2010, Runner-up
TALL was established in London in 2005 by director, Toby Maclean, and an office in Sydney, Australia was opened by Richard Addison in 2009. In 2016 Tall Engineers joined Entuitive.
We pride ourselves on providing practical yet sophisticated solutions to diverse projects in construction, architecture and art, particularly on technically challenging, prominent or socially valuable projects. We view close collaboration between the design disciplines as essential to the design process and are enthusiastic supporters of cross-fertilisation between all design fields.
Our experience is broad and varied ranging from the engineering design of bespoke furniture to oil platforms in the North Sea. The approach to design is always from first principles, which ensures our skills can be adapted to all fields without limitation by precedent.
Entuitive’s approach leads to naturally sustainable solutions involving efficient use of materials and we have a history of making use of local and unusual materials and craftsmanship where possible.
Current work at Entuitive includes orthodox structural engineering projects in the residential, community and commercial sectors, technical assistance on public arts projects, partnering with other firms on competitions and studies, and providing expert advice on various aspects of construction. In recent years we have developed a specialism in providing technical assessments for products and mechanical devices as diverse as camera booms, climb assist devices for wind turbine towers and aircraft access equipment.
143 Crownstone Road
tel 020 733 6837
Sitooterie gazebo. A single light source illuminates the 4000+ tubes. Designer: Heatherwick Studio. Photographer: Rick Guest