Impure Aesthetics of Bio-receptive Marble and Cork Composites

Chih Hsu, Kooyoung Kwon, Shiyi Sun, Yucong Xiao

The research was developed via intense computational growth simulations that generated a complex surface warping, leading to a varied typology of fissures, protrusions, crevices and ridges. These formations were materialised in form of casts with concrete composites that included marble and cork powder, defining a diverse gradient of smooth and rough textural conditions.
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The building project focused on the design of a contemporary grotto for biological growth that promotes a special sense of intimacy through its acoustic qualities in the landscape. The overall 3-dimensionality and depth of the surface with its tectonic conglobulation is conceived in relation to the aesthetics of marble (pure) and cork (impure).
The grotto is subdivided in panels that integrate a multitude of surface geometries. The linear striation of vertical patterns on the top and centre of the panels promotes the irrigation of water in lower areas where the depth of crevices and protrusions enhances the absorption and retention of moisture. The morphological coagulating of matter defines ideal spaces for liverworts to proliferate, while encouraging the absorption of sound in the intimate areas of the building.