Alex Chinneck makes an ordinary building extraordinary with unzipped facade
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."
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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