The Vanished House, a project by Field Conforming Studio, was created for the second Wuhan International Environmental Sculpture Biennale. The venue for the exhibition was the Ximengfeng Memorial Park, a cemetery with a calm spatial atmosphere.
The symbol of the hearth, this house, reminiscent of a child’s drawing, looks like a phantom formed by intricate patterns of intertwining vines. It is a memory of a vanished living space and, consequently, of people and things from the past. After establishing the spatial form, the designers had to figure out how to convey the feeling of disappearance and loss. They made a 1:10 scale miniature model out of cardboard and drew ivy on the model. According to the authors of the project, the process of sketching was the most sentimental and exciting part of creativity.
Then came the most boring work. Since the final work is laser cut from corten steel, they scanned the model at high resolution and then manually converted the scanned files into vector files. It was time-consuming, tedious work: every detail, every joint had to be checked before starting factory production.
The material was not chosen by chance. First, corten steel turns crimson from rust, a shade that can convey the texture of the vines well. Secondly, The Vanished House creates a space that people can enter. Because the wall is formed by ivy, it needs a certain amount of strength—two-centimeter-thick steel plates provide structural strength. Over time, the color of the steel plates will darken when exposed to sunlight and rain.
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