A piece of the Heatwave radiator by Joris Laarman, blown up to form a walk-through cave, became the stand for Belgian radiator manufacturer Jaga at the Salone del Mobile 2007 in Milan.
A month before the fair Jaga art director Tony Michiels and spatial design firm Unfold accidentally zoomed in incredibly close to the radiator’s polygonal surface and discovered the product’s architectural features. Their joke about turning one fragment into a building evolved into a brilliant installation.
The blown-up detail was digitally modeled in the space of the Salone del Mobile’s Zona Tortona. Tony Michiels and Unfold needed to make no changes in the shape of the detail; which fit amazingly well into the old garage made available for Jaga’s stand. This digital model with more than 4000 unique triangles was unfolded and made into a giant cut-out model kit. The outer wall consists of 512 two-mm-thick, CNC-machined polypropylene sheets fastened together with flaps, tape and butterfly nuts. A team of ten people built the 20-x-10-x-14-m structure in about four days. The construction is comparable to those by Buckminster Fuller, who proved, with his geodesic domes, that triangular bonds are strong enough for self-supporting structures.
Photography: David Maesen & Unfold