A closer look at the hottest solutions from August
Staff -- Interior Design, 8/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
For the conTEMPorary gallery in New York, built-in furniture was literally a weighty issue. Acconci Studio's design for the space involves 18 tons of custom metal fixtures, the pièce de résistance being a 5-ton stainless-steel wall in owner Kenny Schachter's office. Sandwiched between layers of galvanized-steel mesh, the wall splits, principal Vito Acconci says, "into four parts that twist to become a desk, two benches, and a shelf." Acconci achieved the computer-designed components' 1 1/2-inch thickness by cutting two 1/8-inch-thick steel sheets with a blowtorch, bending them with a jack press, and welding them along a steel edging hand-hammered to shape. The process took four months. "Temporary Heroes," page 130. —A.C.
Symphony of light
To improve the acoustics of the Staatstheater Mainz in Germany, Kauffmann Theilig & Partner ripped out the existing balconies, which had followed the circular walls of the 1833 auditorium. "The sound either went round and round or simply stayed in the middle, so our aim was to disturb the cylindrical form of the space," explains business manager Andreas Theilig, the principal in charge.
The new balconies jut forward, Theilig says, "like drawers inserted into the back wall." Each concrete structure is fitted with fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels generally used for shipbuilding. "Because it's a hard material, it reflects sound deep into the auditorium," he continues. Backlit with neon tubes, the panels also illuminate the hall before and after performances. "Raising the Roof," page 154. —I.P.