Designed for a residential building’s lobby, these wooden panels divide the ground floor space into private pockets within the greater public space. Radlab looked at the wall as an architectural tool to demarcate space as private and public, and then translated the dynamic of these two spaces into the structure of the partitions.
Music was a key concept used in this design, specifically the Gigue in B-minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Technocal aspects and details on how they achieved their design throughout this concept can be researched here. The main idea of the crossing over of the treble and bass (representative of the two spaces) is summarised in the diagram below.
The end result of the partition is manufactured using moire principles, where two patterns (in this case the bass and the treble) are superimposed to create a third pattern. Radlab describes the achieved effect as a “third immeterial volume” which is then experienced by the user through engaging with the space.
The partition was created as a whole and later divided into two parts, a reverse of the moire process. This allowed the partitions to “read continuously” much like the dialogue of the spaces.
This design is quite interesting to me because of how it doesn’t do much to enliven the atmosphere in the lobby. The partitions do their job, which is essentially to divide the room. The permeability of the installed pieces still allows the room lobby to be read as one space, but the presence of the partitions suggests otherwise. I like this dynamic as continuity makes for a more comfortable space.
The only thing that I would have liked to see rendered is the lighting effects achieved by the partitions. Their intended use to divide space could have been translated to divide light as well. Its shape reminds me of an auditorium ceiling, but that may be due to the musical concept mentioned above.
By: Thelma Ndebele