StalacTile, Tessellated Manifolds was created by students from Washington University in St. Louis led by Marcelo Spina of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, Daniel Carper and Ken Tracy. The project’s scope was a full-scale installation. The installation seeks to enhance and transform the spatial atmosphere of the vertical stairwell foregrounding conditions of figuration, lighting, materiality, texture, coloration, and corporeality. The project sensitively engages occupants through its formal description of proximal and cuspate peaks while dissipating into subtle saddle surfaces around its edges.
The studio investigated both, the abstract mathematical constructions of saddle minimal surfaces, and the rich tectonic and ornamental tradition of Arabesque and Islamic patterns, especially focused towards muqarnas and stalactite features. In doing so, the studio aimed at generating a new definition of superficial interiority in architecture by articulating a loose and interstitial manifold network that challenge the conventional divisions of wall and ceiling, surface and volume, monolithic and discrete, opaque and porous, monochrome and colored, figure and figuration.
As a Digital Fabrication Studio, the class was concerned with developing a complex project throughout all phases of design, fabrication and installation including the development of a coherent tectonic and assembly system, intricate detailing and affluent materiality.
The final installation of Tessellated Manifolds was a result of an initial digital speculation and an immense investment into manual experimentation. This digital to manual feedback created a platform to advance fabrication processes and design decisions ensuring the completion of the installation while preserving all of the desired design ideas.