‘what happens when art and architecture are merged to create a form of escapism?’ this is the question inclume studio posed before creating tetra – a floating deck based on the idea of an abstracted sail. built using modular design and a variety of recycled materials, the project intends to show how constructing a temporary interactive installation can be a creative, challenging and inexpensive pursuit.
all images courtesy of inclume studio
with its abstracted sail form, tetra can be viewed as a re-imagining of a traditional leisure boat. the triangular form is instantly recognizable yet inclume studio has added paper origami components to create an immersive play of light as the deck moves across the water. by mixing the complexity of the origami with a delineated form, the team wanted to express a sense of motion, alluding to depth, transparency and empty space; much like the body of water it sits on.
from the oars to the sail, the modular design is based around the form of tetrahedrons. the triangular motif is constant but varies in size throughout its use in different components. a series of tessellated tetra- and polyhedrons were used to establish the main bamboo frame, which sits on a triangular timber platform. the canopy, onto which the paper origami elements are threaded, is raised at an angle to allow light to penetrate through its interwoven forms and diffuse on the people below.
the installation acts partly as a shelter but also serves as a relaxing platform that when cast out to the middle of the water creates a sense of escapism. users can sit back and relax while drifting with the water and allowing the world to go by. as part of the temporary installation, which lasted one day, passersby were encouraged to help construct parts of the raft with the studio and interact with the piece once launched. this meant the project integrated with the surroundings and community, providing an opportunity to meet new people and have fun along the way.
tetra in context
a modular design was employed so the components could be easily transported. the canopy uses a set of clips to quickly form the outer frame. the smallest triangles were built off-site, taking the studio many painstaking weeks to create the delicate origami paper forms and thread and weave them onto the inner frames. these pre-made units could then be clipped into position on the main frame when on-site through the help of passersby engaging with the build, thus allowing a quick and easy installation. the deck is bolted below and can be detached into three parts but is designed in such a way that the pattern conceals the interlocking mechanism.
to source the materials inclume studio contacted various local people to help sustainably reuse unwanted items. the timber deck is made from recycled pallets which were broken up, cut to shape and fixed to a timber frame created from overspill from a local carpenter. to help give the deck buoyancy, the team were able to obtain three barrels in exchange for their help in removing the contents into a more accessible distribution unit. the canopy frame and internal structure make use of unwanted garden bamboo canes, while the core sub-frame is made of thread entwined with recycled paper. as the final touch, the studio were also able to sand, paint and reuse a set of unwanted oars from a local boat club.
tetra canopy detail
tetra deck and oars
tetra deck detail
tetra plan in context
project name: tetra
design: inclume studio
edited by: lynne myers | designboom