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MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY has created “Minima | Maxima”, a site specific installation made of ultra-thin powdered aluminum in Astana, Kazakhstan. Presented during the world expo 2017, the installation transports visitors into a strange, science fiction world where users can engage with the dynamic structure. The project extends MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY’s research and development into achieving structural integrity through “ultra-thin, self-supporting structures”.

These whimsical yet durable curves eliminate the need for columns and beams. The surface is ultra-thin: 6 millimeter aluminum. “If an egg were scaled up to the same height as the project, it would be much thicker”, says the design team. The carefully-designed transition from pleated base to smooth and doubly-curved, continuous surface allows the structure to reach a considerable height of 43 feet (akin to 4 building storeys).

The project is a multi-ply composite: three layers of flat stripes are constructed in tandem. The layers support one another as they assume curvature and gain height. “The system warrants comparison to fiber technology— such as carbon or glass— yet is unique in that unlike fibers, each individual component does not need to be in tension”.

The project was commissioned for World Expo 2017, an event which showcases architectural and engineering innovations. The structure will remain a permanent installation that incites curiosity and engagement on the site. Past constructions of MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY have been affectionately dubbed “crawling assemblies” for their computational process as well as their likeness to multi-legged critters and curious organic forms.

Design: Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY
Photography: Studio NAARO

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