Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo: Cloudscapes

An atmospheric installation that is out of this world
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Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

1 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

2 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

3 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

4 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

5 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

6 / 6 Transsolar + Tetsuo Kondo, Cloudscapes (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy


A helical ramp climbs through and above an artificial cloud in Cloudscapes by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects. Transsolar is a German climatic engineering firm known for their focus on sustainability, and Tetsuo Kondo is one of several Japanese designers in the exhibition known for working, much like the curator Sejima, in a minimalist style and a predominately white palette. Together, they have created an interior cloud that drifts unevenly, several metres off the floor, alternately shrouding and revealing the walls, windows and pillars of the room.

Conceptually, Cloudscapes owes a lot to Diller and Scofidio’s 2002 Blur Building for the Swiss Expo in Yverdon-les-Bains, but where the deliberately high-tech elements of that structure were clearly intended to evoke a technologically advanced building, the rusty-brown colour and smooth curves of the ramp of Cloudscapes create a effect that is primarily atmospheric and a little mysterious, closer to the realm of fantasy than that of science fiction.

 

By Sara Goldsmith
Project Editor, Architecture & Design, at Phaidon


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