Curtain Wall

Curtain Wall

Atmosphere Conference, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba (2010)

This project provided an opportunity to explore the potential of ice to model the analogous liquid-to-solid material, concrete, at a full-scale without the challenges of mass and permanence.

A simple folded serpentine form was chosen at the base which acted to generate a stable base, and a single linear path was arranged at the top using wooden scaffolding and pulley points along the supported beam. The self-forming physical parametric behavior of the fabric resolved the difference between these two forms and created a strong shell of complex curves. Water was applied in frozen layers to a thickness of 3mm-8mm. 

Once completed, the translucency allowed for the projection of images for the Atmosphere Conference at the University of Manitoba. 

The wall stood for 42 days/nights and collapsed only because of sublimation (the event of a solid evaporating without becoming a liquid), as the temperatures did not rise above freezing.

The ice proved strong enough to support its own weight and to resist significant wind loading in the outdoor courtyard. This project opened up a wide range of possibilities of working with analogous materials through complimentary design and construction processes.


Project partner: The Faculty of Architecture - the University of Manitoba