EXQUISITE CORB: FULL BLOOM

The Menuserie Sylva is complete. Almost. The basement is raw. The generous attic spaces are exposed and drafty. 

In response to this partial unfinishedness, the project reconsiders the potential aesthetic of an otherwise hidden and under-considered architectural element: foam insulation. Evoking the historical lineage of insulation, beginning in the form of tapestry and later evolving to include less refined but more available materials like horsehair, sheep’s wool, newspaper, and other inexpensive, the project works to combine both functionalism and ornament in an otherwise banal, industrial, and under-considered building element. Today, through ubiquitous industrial streamlining, insulation has been simplified, standardized, rendered austere, and virtually invisible.  As a result, rolling, blowing, spraying and so on, are assessed by measures of speed rather than finish.

Full Bloom considers architecture’s tectonic potentials made possible by rendering commonplace, industrial matter – in this case spray foam – visually explicit.  Combining spray foam, precise application of paint, and a replicable mold, the project produces a series of insulating blocks deployed to weatherize and ornament interior surfaces. In this scenario, the architect, by reclaiming the prosaic, suggests speculates about the breadth of possible impact by engaging what might otherwise be dismissed as meritless.

Work done in collaboration with Jaxine Chang and Sydney Brown.