Bureau de Change have created an installation for Sto Werkstatt, working with their intelligent façade paints to devise an immersive exhibition, which subtly evolves over its duration.
The response to the brief was to design a memorable environment, which would illustrate the properties of the paint in an evocative manner. Rather than ‘informing’ the visitor, by showcasing the product in a raw and detached context, the space is taken over by a sensorial intervention that captivates them.
The focus of the space is a three-dimensional surface, made from of 100 petal like forms, which are sunk into crisp white blocks. 100 pendulums are suspended directly above in a grid formation, with delicate wires creating a field of vertical elements. Green liquid gently trickles from the ceiling above, travelling down the wires and eventually dropping from the tips of the pendulums onto the petals below. On examining the surface of the petals, it becomes apparent that the installation is one of two halves. On half of the petals, droplets of green liquid are transformed into glassy beads that roll away. On the other half, green droplets create painterly blotches, whose layers build the intensity of colour throughout the exhibition.
Inspiration for the sculptural forms came from flower making tools, which were used when Sto Werkstatt’s building housed an artificial flower making factory from 1876 – 1932. This formed part of John Groom’s mission – a charity that trained impoverished and disabled women to craft these artificial flowers. The pendulums give a nod to the clock and watch making industry, which thrived in Clerkenwell from the beginning of the 18th Century, and in the surrounding Sekford Estate from the 1820s.
The sunken, petal like forms have been carved from Verolith - a lightweight construction material manufactured by Sto, which can be CNCd to form infinite surface textures. Each petal has been coated in a Sto intelligent façade paint or a conventional Sto façade paint. The paint used on half of the petals, which is part of Sto's Intelligent Technology (IQ) range, provides protection against algae and fungal growth. Its patented micro-textured surface ensures that water droplets run off quickly and with ease. In contrast, droplets cling to the surface of the conventional facade paint, cultivating over the course of the exhibition, layered green stains. While this painterly effect will be beautiful, the colour subtly hints towards the algae and fungal growth many facades are hindered with.
Photography: Ben Blossom