A Fabric-Wrapped Steel Frame Design that was innovative

A Rome-based company, SET Architects, created a unique and innovative installation and gallery space for Florim, an Italian ceramic tile manufacturer. The structure, was placed in Florim’s flagship store in central Milan, and was named ‘Album BFF016’.

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SET Architects won an international competition to design a sustainable installation as part of Milan Design Week. The competition was organised by Florim and judged by a panel of prominent architects and designers. This is not the first award for SET Architects. The firm previously won the inaugural Bologna Shoah Memorial competition in 2015 for the design of a steel Holocaust Memorial in Bologna.

The people behind SET Architects are Lorenzo Catena, Onorato di Manno and Andrea Tanci.

Album BFF016

Erected and on show for the duration of Milan Design Week, the structure featured a free-standing steel framework covered with panels of biodegradable black jute fabric. The choice of materials means the structure is easily assembled and robust. According to SET Architects, it can be ‘infinitely reproduced’.

The framework itself was made using an inspired bolt-less system of rods which is designed to be easily transported and reassembled.

The structure formed five distinct spaces, the walls of which carry photos from the Azerbaijan Pavilion of Expo 2015. Just ten photographs were chosen to be displayed within the installation space. Florim’s own black ceramic tiles form a grid on the floor, and the upper half of the installation forms a roof shape, with zigzag fabric panels wrapped around horizontal bars. The combination of jute fabric and steel rods creates ‘wings’. There are various pathways through the structure and visual channels within it, allowing a multitude of interactions with the installation.

SET Architects feel that the black jute covering creates a ‘chequered pattern’ to form a grid of spaces, each one square metre in size. The fabric serves as a subtle backdrop for the photographs whilst also emphasising each image in its own right.

Tensile Fabric Solutions

Tensile Canopy structures such as Album BFF016 are increasingly popular as art installations, pop-up event spaces and galleries. Specialist companies, work in partnership with organisations to create unique, design-led tensile fabric structures.

The Album BFF016 installation was on show in Florim’s Milan store for the duration of the Milan Design Week back in 2016.

For the companies out there who want more of a permanent structure with a Fabric Roof you could always visit sites like www.spatialstructures.com/building-systems-explained.