Marc Fornes/Theverymany's latest permanent installation “Minima | Maxima” is constructed from aluminum that measures less than a quarter-inch-thick. Located at the World Expo 2017 in Atsana, Kazakhstan, the piece seemingly defies traditional structural limitations.
Completed in June, the structure aims to alter our perceptions of an enclosure, and challenge the ideas of a traditional entrance or exit, according to an emailed press release by Theverymany. The science fiction-like design aims to instill a sense of childlike wonder in visitors as they engage with and explore the structure.
Part of the studio's Structural Stripes ‘Crawing Assembly’—a series of self-supporting, ultra-thin structures that remain upright through their double curvature form—the piece “rolls in, on, and around itself,” and stands at 43 feet despite the lack of beams or other structural support.
The installation utilizes Theverymany's proprietary "structural stripes" system of self-supporting, curvilinear strips that respond to neighboring pieces in order to create a structurally sound whole (recently used in another permanent installation called "Under Magnitude" at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center). This piece offers an even greater structural potential with its multi-ply form. Three layers of flat stripes sandwich each other perpendicularly for support and durability, and form an anistrophic material from the isotrophic stripes of each layer. In total, the three layers of material form 5,312 stripes.
According to the press release, the technology is similar to fiber technology, but is unique in that it does not need to be built in a straight line—allowing the structure to take on its curved form. Additionally, the construction process does not require a mold or scaffolding.
The structure will remain a permanent sculpture at the site of the World Expo Astana 2017, which ran June 10 to Sept. 10.