Architecture

Alex Chinneck makes an ordinary building extraordinary with unzipped facade

IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
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Alex Chinneck has previously wowed people with his architectural artworks, including levitating buildings and making them melt away
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Alex Chinneck has previously wowed people with his architectural artworks, including levitating buildings and making them melt away
IQOS World is named after the Philip Morris International vaping and heated tobacco brand that was involved in commissioning the project
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IQOS World is named after the Philip Morris International vaping and heated tobacco brand that was involved in commissioning the project
"By taking familiar materials and architectural forms and making them behave in extraordinary ways, we are working with IQOS to change visitors' perceptions of what is possible," says Chinneck
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"By taking familiar materials and architectural forms and making them behave in extraordinary ways, we are working with IQOS to change visitors' perceptions of what is possible," says Chinneck
IQOS World involved three different factories in Germany
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IQOS World involved three different factories in Germany
The design process included computer modeling, painting and casting
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The design process included computer modeling, painting and casting
IQOS World took three weeks to install
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IQOS World took three weeks to install
IQOS World includes steel, stone and timber building materials
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IQOS World includes steel, stone and timber building materials
IQOS World covers the front of two buildings named Oficina 31 and Spazio Quattrocento but this fake facade makes them look like one large building
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IQOS World covers the front of two buildings named Oficina 31 and Spazio Quattrocento but this fake facade makes them look like one large building
A look at the zip used in IQOS World during the fabrication process
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A look at the zip used in IQOS World during the fabrication process
IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
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IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
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IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
IQOS World is 17 m (55.7 ft)  wide
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IQOS World is 17 m (55.7 ft)  wide
IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
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IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
The interior of IQOS World features another two zip installations
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The interior of IQOS World features another two zip installations
The interior of IQOS World features another two zip installations
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The interior of IQOS World features another two zip installations
IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
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IQOS World is on display at Milan Design Week until April 14, 2019
IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
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IQOS World echoes Chinneck's previous work, an unzipped office building in England
IQOS World covers the front of two buildings named Oficina 31 and Spazio Quattrocento
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IQOS World covers the front of two buildings named Oficina 31 and Spazio Quattrocento
The interior of IQOS World includes a zip installation on the floor
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The interior of IQOS World includes a zip installation on the floor
The interior of IQOS World includes another zip installation on the wall
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The interior of IQOS World includes another zip installation on the wall

Alex Chinneck's surreal artistic works offer a fascinating twist on everyday architecture. His latest project involves him apparently unzipping an aged building's facade during Milan Design Week (aka Salone de Internazionale del Mobile di Milano).

Echoing Chinneck's unzipped office building in England, IQOS World depicts an aged building that has been partially unzipped to reveal a glowing light behind it. The project consists of the exterior facade and another two installations inside: a wall with a zip partway down and a circular hole in the floor that's similarly opened – both with glowing light behind.

"By taking familiar materials and architectural forms and making them behave in extraordinary ways, we are working with IQOS to change visitors' perceptions of what is possible," says Chinneck. "Through the repeated use of the zipper, we have opened up the fabric of a seemingly historic Milanese building to playfully re-imagine what lies behind its facade, floors and walls. Ethereal light pours through each opening, filling the space with color and filling the work with a sense of positivity and potential."

The interior of IQOS World includes another zip installation on the wall
The interior of IQOS World includes another zip installation on the wall

Chinneck told us that the artwork spans 17 m (55.7 ft) in width and actually covers the front of two buildings, named Oficina 31 and Spazio Quattrocento.

The design process involved computer modeling, painting and casting. Steel, stone and timber were used as building materials. Hundreds of people worked on the project and its fabrication included three different factories in Germany and it took 15 trucks to deliver it. In all, installation took three weeks to complete on-site.

IQOS World is named after the Philip Morris International vaping and heated tobacco brand involved in commissioning the work and is available to view until Milan Design Week closes on April 14.

Source: Alex Chinneck

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