The industrial research partner Valchromat challenged the DFL to design a structure to be shown in an architectural conference event. Being placed next to the company’s stand, the structure had to show some of the unique features of this material.
Valchromat is a wooden material that is available in multiple colors. Thus, it was decided to produce 3 sandwich panels, using the grey color on one side and a different warm color (yellow, orange, red) on the other side. A parametric design strategy was then followed to design a screen wall with variable diamond-shape perforations, for filtering light and organizing space. To produce these non-standard panels, a 3-axis robotic cutting process was chosen to create a more abrupt transition between the two layers of Valchromat. This process accomplished more intense light/shadow effects.
The structure was exhibited in the Silo Auto, an iconic parking building in Porto. By moving its panels, the screen can assume different configurations in space, from a flat wall to a triangular prismatic column. The user can also play with the contrast between the continuous monotonous gray color on one side and the vivid warm colors on the other. Besides showing the aesthetic potential of this material, this project also demonstrated the possibility for its design customization using robotic fabrication technologies.