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KODAMA: A Polyhedron Sculpture in the Forest at Arte Sella

Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE,volume 24)

Abstract

KODAMA is the new “sculpture” conceived by Kengo Kuma for Arte Sella—The Contemporary Mountain. The process shows the concept, the development, and the construction of a complex structure in massive wood (Italian larch), a new sculpture in this famous Land art park. After the first options, which have been discussed between the Japanese and the Italian teams, a solution with lattice blades has been chosen. The first phase was to produce different scale mockups, both analogic and digital in order to find proportion and dimensions. All the structure which creates a kind of “porous sphere” (a polyhedron) is made only by one wood section, connected without nails or screws. Old toys, Chidori-like, are the reference and several scaled mockups have been produced with different woods: cedar, larch, fir, and oak. Once assessed the architectural/spatial shape the model has been studied for its structural behavior thanks to complex software analysis, which have been studied using the parametric model (Rhino-Grasshopper). Models have been used for testing the structure after assessing the real loads (mainly snow and wind). Full scale 1:1 mockup have been realized both analogic and with CNC machines by master carpenters. The final shape is an ideal “Teahouse” space in the middle of the forest, close to Villa Strobele, which will be the new core of Arte Sella, dedicated to famous architects and their ways to conceive art and nature using wood as a creative material.

Keywords

  • Wooden land art
  • Chidori
  • Lattice blades
  • Parametric design
  • CNC-based cutting

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Acknowledgements

This work is the result of a deep and intense collaboration between different realities, which could be distant in a geographically perspective, but very close in their intellectual nature and intentions. They involve both the academic field, the industry sector and the bigger design realities, through the conception, management, production and realization of an art piece that has already encountered a great success among people.

The authors, therefore, would like to acknowledge at first Arte Sella—The Contemporary Mountain, for the opportunity to be hosted in such a beautiful place, where Art, artifacts, and Nature are embraced in the same substance. We are very proud to be a part of this story.

Then, a special thank goes to the academic realities that started this international collaboration between Politecnico di Milano and the University of Tokyo. At first, we would like to thank all the members of Kengo Kuma Lab, for the primary conceptual ideas and the continuous rehashing of materials. Prof. Jun Sato of the University of Tokyo worked on structural calculations in Japan, with D3WOOD, which also cared about the simulations of the mechanical behavior from Italy. The computational team of the course of Design Optioneering of Politecnico di Milano, Matteo Pedrana, Leandro Robutti and Fabrizio Miele, helped in defining the algorithm code for the parametrical design stage. Afterward, the prototyping phase would not be possible without the collaboration between D3WOOD (Marco and Claudio Clozza) and Ri-Legno Srl, where Giulio Franceschini, Lavinia Sartori and Giorgio Franceschini have been in chief of the CNC works. Then, the construction phase has been carried out by D3WOOD, with the support of Rotho Blaas Srl for the material supply.

Finally, we thank all the students involved in the process, for their hard work: Federica Iachelini and Clara Rinaldi of Politecnico di Milano, and Takahiro Hirayama, Masumi Ogawa and Ifan Yim, from the University of Tokyo.

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Kuma, K., Imperadori, M., Clozza, M., Hirano, T., Vanossi, A., Brunone, F. (2019). KODAMA: A Polyhedron Sculpture in the Forest at Arte Sella. In: Bianconi, F., Filippucci, M. (eds) Digital Wood Design. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 24. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03676-8_51

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03676-8_51

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