Friday 08 August 2014
Bloc Projects commissioned Studio Polpo to create a new mobile and adjustable storage and workstation unit for their gallery space.
The project was designed to answer a space saving need for the Bloc Projects’ main space to be versatile in housing a small office or meeting arrangement, a range of storage items and the temporary display of Bloc Shop items among other things, without being compromised in its primary function as a gallery space.
The resulting Bloc Objects are a series of furniture pieces that work together or separately in numerous configurations, depending on how the gallery space is being used.
Studio Polpo experimented with HI-MACS solid surface and its ability to be joined invisibly to create a seamless and solid block of material, and in their design process visited the workshops of Preston’s We Are Limitless Limited (W.A.L.L) to explore how the material can be manipulated. The finished furniture pieces can be connected into each other to create seamless white solids while alternative viewing points and arrangements reveal a rougher OSB inner lining, an effect that subverts the convention of hiding of supporting timber structures within solid surfaces creates a contrast in texture and colour. Their design addressed the need for functionality, flexibility and simplicity within the gallery spaces while incorporating an aspect of investigation and surprise.
Made by W.A.L.L. and displaying a high degree of craftsmanship, the objects play with perceptions of what is smooth or rough, expensive or cheap and and synthetic or natural.
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The HI-MACS Solid surface was provided by James Latham, who provided a degree of sponsorship through reduced material costs.
Studio Polpo is a research driven architecture practice and social enterprise, established in 2008 and based in Sheffield, UK. They develop ways to initiate architecture and design projects in collaboration with third sector organisations.
All images: Studio Polpo.