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Marc Fornes created coral-like installation for Bruges Triennale themed as Liquid City

Belgium - Jun 11, 2018 - 04:56   4403 views

Architect Marc Fornes, founder of THEVERYMANY, has created a coral-like installation for this year's Bruges Triennale, the city’s second Art and Architecture Triennial in Bruges, Belgium. 

Titled nonLin/Lin, the installation will be on view for five months at the centre of Bruges' Grootseminarie, a 17th century Cistercian Abbey. The project is the centerpiece of an exhibition of other architectural works from the FRAC Collection that have evolved out of the computational turn. 

The Bruges Triannale is themed as Liquid Architectures, which is curated by Abdelkader Damani. The Triennale asserts the theme of the event with lively, fluid-like forms that upend the notion of architecture as rigidly determined and immutable.

Commissioned by the FRAC Centre, Fornes' installation creates a new environment that merges digital and analog modes of experience. Produced in 2011, it represents an early prototypical work in Mesh Segmentation and Structural Stripes that has been further refined into large scale constructs and architectural environments over the past years. 

"While this stands as an early proof of concept for our custom computational protocols of descriptive geometry, the environment is impressively thin and light. Each module is made from 1mm thick aluminum stripes, and yet our team was able to crawl on the structure during its assembly," said the studio.

For the summer, nonLin/Lin will occupy the nave of Bruges’ Grootseminarie, a 17th century Cistercian Abbey. Forming a Y in plan—an initial split—the piece twists and unfurls along the main axis of the sanctuary. The sanctuary context is well suited to the mystical quality of the installation. 

Upon approach, you can’t quite determine the structure’s depth; you must wander through its thicket of porous branches to understand its scale and depth. Openings between connecting parts filter the light that spills through the clerestory above, alternately projecting shadow and dappled light onto its interior. 

This intricate experience has the sense of floating through a dreamy coral-like structure, and the derive takes over any sense of recognition of its individual elements.

Sprawling and winding forms within the spatial environment are unified by a continuous surface of glossy white aluminum, made up of 6,367 non-linear stripes. The morphology takes on its multi-directional elements with protocols of recombination, where members within the structural network split, merge, open into apertures, or stretch into tubular limbs. 

From several thousand individual parts, 570 components are pre-assembled in 40 modular sections. The four metre-high structure can be taken apart and reassembled in different locations, realizing a lightness beyond its material quality and into a paradigm of agile architectural production.


Marc Fornes' studio THEVERYMANY is an art + architecture studio specializing in the intersection of unique spatial experience and ultra-thin lightweight structures. The studio recently completed the Chrysalis Amphitheater sitıtaed within Merriweather Park of Columbia. 

All images © NAARO, unless otherwise stated.