Lori Zimmer

Inversion: Steven Holl Unveils LED-lit Sculptures Carved from 21 Million-Year-Old Stone for Milan Design Week

by , 04/04/13

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Steven Holl Architects, Interni Hybrid Architecture Exhibition, INVERSION, limestone sculpture, MIlan Design Week, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Steven Holl sculpture

Steven Holl Architects has an incredible installation planned for Milan’s Interni Hybrid Architecture Exhibition. Called INVERSION, the installation consists of six void-cut limestone sculptures made from 21 million-year-old Italian stone. The LED-lit installation will be displayed in the picturesque courtyard of the Università degli Studi di Milano starting April 9th as part of Milan Design Week.


green design, eco design, sustainable design, Steven Holl Architects, Interni Hybrid Architecture Exhibition, INVERSION, limestone sculpture, MIlan Design Week, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Steven Holl sculpture

Steven Holl’s projects often start as beautifully artistic watercolors, and INVERSION is no different. The project began when the architect painted a simple five by seven-inch watercolor sketch at his office in New York City. That watercolor was then converted into a 3D file, serving as the only design file for the project—requiring no other working drawings. The file was then sent to Lecce, Italy, the site of the ancient limestone quarry.

Six chunks of limestone were then carved into inverted sculptures, using a five-axis CNC mill by Pimar. Each sculpture weighs in at a hefty 2,500 pounds and rise to around four feet high. Each of the sculptures twists and turns with negative space, echoing the signature style of the architecture firm.

Placed around the ornate courtyard, they are a contrast of modernism, made with an ancient material. At night, each sculpture seems to glow with high-powered LED strips, transforming them into stone lanterns. The sculptures have been placed on a sheet of reflective water with a misting system by Teuco Guzzini, which makes each 2,500 slab of stone seem to hover above the ground.

Holl himself with give a lecture in conjunction of the exhibition for the FuoriSalone 2013. After the exhibition, INVERSION will be flown to Princeton, where they will be on permanent display at the Performing Arts Center, designed by Steven Holl Architects of course.

+ Steven Holl Architects

Via Arch Daily

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