Marble retrospective: collaborative design process: waste marble as primary architectural stucture

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


Michael Howe joined Cultural Geometries in 2015: Project Leaders for marble pavilion exhibition: C. Godiksen, M. Brown & M. Howe Team: M. Brown, C. Godiksen, J. Hagos, M. Howe, D. kay, T.Yudin & J.Revel (Project Team: see film credits & Film: T. Jones, M. Brown & C.Godiksen Exhibition of work undertaken by Cultural Geometries in collaboration with: Etma, Solubema, FreeHaus, CG Architecture, Academics, students & graduates from Oxford Brookes University and Brighton University and local community input. Exhibition subject: In the town of Vila Viçosa, Portugal, where everything from castles to kerbstones are made out of marble, our pavilion is the first non-reinforced marble structure for over a century, and the first to be exclusively built from marble waste and with this type of structural system. The design research has from the beginning been integrated into undergraduate teaching. Students have lead particular lines of enquiries and collectively worked directly with the Quarries, Marble factory, Geologists and the community. We are inherently motivated by culture. Methodical knowledge exchange year on year, critical reflection, debate and further experimentation are the core components to the research lead teaching and praxis. (Patti Lather1986 Research as Praxis) (Venturi & Scott Brown, Yale, 1969). Leading to the design and construction of our first architectural scale experiment. The pavilion is fabricated and installed in Etma a Portuguese marble factory with Marble from Solubema. The pavilion’s intended use post construction is as an educational tool for employees, local students, international architects, engineers, clients and not least for our on going research. The structure, at only 2-3cm thick and comprising of just two layers of laminated marble, springs from one curved wall before forming two sweeping catenary vaults. The spatial experience, with views framing distant waste marble mounds is formed with an attitude to scale and sequence, curated around the simple movement from one vault to another. The snake-skin effect on the surface showcases the full breath of the material, making the solid structure seem lighter and accentuate its appearance of being ‘paper thin’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016
Eventexhibition - Freehaus, Studio B 3, Mentmore Terrace, London, 23-26 June 2016
Duration: 23 Jun 2016 → …


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