The Aberystwyth Arts Centre in Wales recently opened eight stunning crumpled steel buildings that utilize an innovative construction method to keep their material use to a minimum. Conceived by design/build team Heatherwick Studio, the special cladding system was installed on-site by forming foil-thin steel into structural shapes and then coating the inside with spray foam insulation. The polished and crinkled steel not only provides windowsills and eaves but creates an interesting facade of fragmented reflections of sky, forest, and grass which gives the buildings a striking look that is entirely made up of their surroundings.
The timber-framed sheds are split down the middle to accommodate a common entry and provide substantial daylighting and ventilation to the studios on either side. The spray foam used in the project is CFC-free, and the crinkled steel paneling is affordable, rigid, and well-insulated. The concept of creating a community in jiffy-pop studios is a nice departure from a single massive facility. By building eight smaller structures Heatherwick has created a design village atmosphere that is more incorporated into its surroundings and gives its users a connection to the outdoors.