Framestore and LA architecture firm Greg Lynn FORM unveiled a reimagined Packard Plant as part of the US Pavilion’s The Architectural Imagination at the opening of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Framestore’s Ben West, a student and practitioner of architecture before entering VFX, first met Greg Lynn through the UCLA Architectural Masters programme. Together they have combined their respective crafts to create something dramatically new for one of the world’s most eminent showcases of architecture and design.
Packard Plant is a 3.2 million square foot complex in Detroit, redesigned as a factory and fulfilment centre for both things and ideas. Once renowned as a centre for innovation and production, Detroit now faces the perils of a post-industrial 21st century. Each featured design at the US Pavilion demonstrates the creativity and resourcefulness of architecture in addressing social and environmental issues, using four defunct sites in Detroit as their base.
The new building design, crafted by Greg Lynn FORM, is a response to robotic manufacturing, autonomous transportation, online retail and transport, and the accelerated innovation in all three of these sectors. Framestore’s teams of animators, producers and designers worked to create a five minute film which would span the entire mile-long property, showcasing its inherent contemporary design features and functionalities. On top of this, the HoloLens application allows Biennale attendees to see high-definition holograms operating on top of the 3D-printed model structure.
'As far as creativity is concerned I'm interested in convergence', explains West of the partnership. 'Discovering ways to bring disparate ideas together to create something new and meaningful comes from having a diverse background. It enables you to draw those connections'.
Framestore is increasingly bringing their craft to new mediums, or volumes, as West describes: 'Creativity and digital arts have volume. Framestore is about extending and integrating screens into the landscape so content isn't "seen" on a screen, rather it's a part of the environment as an architectural statement'.
Lynn shares a similar ethos, being lauded as one of Time Magazine's "most innovative people in the world for the 21st century” for combining the realities of design and construction with the speculative, theoretical and experimental.
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