Drive down alternate Route 40 from Braddock Heights and you enter an eye-catching museum on East Main Street.Many of the houses you encounter are loosely termed “Victorian” in honor of Queen
Did You Know You Could 3D Print A Building
Most visitors to this week's Design Miami (the decade-old companion to Art Basel Miami Beach, that juggernaut art fair that floods Magic City with the world's biggest collectors, influencers, gallerists and innovators each December) didn't expect the most inventive example of modern design to be on display outside the convention tent.
But there it was: New York-based SHoP Architects' "Flotsam & Jetsam," one of the largest 3D-printed structures ever commissioned, welcoming 35,000 design junkies to sit on its bamboo "tentacle" benches and take selfies beneath the sun that streamed through its oculus.
Flotsam & Jetsam, created by SHoP Architects, is one of the largest 3D-printed structures ever created.
The two carbon-fiber structures, which also house a bar and are encircled with an urban beach (complete with golden inflatable swans), took 1,800 hours to print but just six months from conception to installation to create. They were commissioned by Design Miami for this year's Panerai Design Miami Visionary Award, which has been granted in the past to laureates, like Yves Béhar, who have had a lasting impact on design.
Rather than offering a traditional red carpet, the structures resemble two giant jellyfish that washed up from Biscayne Bay and decided to stay for a while.
"I think they're pretty awesome," said SHoP founder Gregg Pasquarelli, as he wandered his sensual masterpiece earlier this week. "Most projects we work on take a minimum of five and often 10 years, so when people look at our body of work, they are actually seeing what we were thinking 10 years ago. This was so exciting because we could dream it up and and have it finished by the end of the year."
Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati was equally as dazzled by the pavilion. In a happy coincidence, Panerai's latest collectable watch, the Pam578 Lo Scienziato, also incorporates 3D-printed components, but on an exponentially smaller scale.
"If you walk around SHoP's structure and touch it you think, how can they do this?" Bonati marveled after presenting the award. "We are able to produce only 70 or 80 of our 3D-printed titanium watches a year, and they are not for everyone since they cost $150,000. What SHoP has done is just amazing. Their vision of design is the future."
The architects and watch executive celebrated the close of the fair at Design Miami founder Craig Robins's home, along with celebrities like Karolina Kurkova, Elle MacPherson, Vito Schnabel and Larry Gagosian. Mermaids swam in Robins's illuminated pool as guests compared notes on their favorite booths (Fendi? Carpenter's Workshop Gallery? Dean & DeLuca?) and whether or not they caught on camera Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog" crashing to the floor during the expo.
Once the fairs leave town, SHoP's 45-panel structure will take up a two-year residence in Miami's Design District, allowing anyone who missed the weeklong event to witness the outer limits of architectural design IRL. Expect to see lead architect Pasquarelli popping by now and then.
"I like to turn my back to a building we've created and see the reaction and the smiles on people's faces," he said. "To me that is one of the most fun parts of being an architect: not seeing the project itself, but watching what radiates out from it."
From:Town & Country
Photos by Robin Hill
Kat Royer is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and minor in Real Estate. She worked for 7 years in operations and sales for a major internat....