All images courtesy of Faulders Studio
In order to activate and shade the main entrance to Portland State University’s Science, Research, and Teaching Centre, Faulders Studio has designed and realized ‘entrium light cloud’ for permanent installation. The canopy is organized as a field of curving aluminum fins, which filter daylight while maintaining a bright and open area below. The composition of contours blends a gridded arrangement with circular focal point geometries to create a pattern evocative of, ‘vectorial weather flows, topographical contours, wave oscillations, and amorphous cellular clusters,’ as described by California-based architect Thom Faulders. The sculpture seeks to engage the perception of students, faculty, and public visitors passing by, and also create a threshold space which links the outside world with the intellectual activity inside the building.
‘Entrium light cloud’ transforms visually based on weather conditions and viewing angle. Overcast skies produce a subtle reflective glow, while sunlit days create crisp shadow patterns on the ground plane and adjacent walls. additionally, the sculpture seems to be a closed surface when seen from a distance, while revealing the sky when viewed from underneath.
To realize the project, Portland-based LIT workshop carried out the fabrication process. Aluminium fins were first laser cut then bent to achieve the desired arrangement. A gridded network of small tube members passes through each strip to connect the system to the larger structural frame and supporting steel cables.