Simona Sacchi won the SUN.LAB 2012. The SUN.LAB contest was conceived in reference to the theme of “Nature Inside“, nature inherent in the product, nature as material, nature as a resource to be protected, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and form.
courtesy Simona Sacchi
The project takes its name from the natural element that inspired the Balanus Amphitrite, a crustacean with a body of conical calcareous; they are found in substantial groups on surface sites between the level of high and low tide. The project aims to convey the theme of the aggregation that occurs in nature as a dominant feature of the modus vivendi (way of living) in the animal world; just think of the flocks, the flocks of birds, and fish. The project is presented as a "colony of seats", since it is composed of four different positions of different sizes.
courtesy Simona Sacchi
So, Balanus captures the appearance of the natural community, the aggregation of the natural element, exploiting it in favor of the human world. The multiple-seating arrangement is designed for a short break, as a foothold in aesthetically appealing contract environments to facilitate interaction and socialization between people. The material used is polyethylene worked with the rotational mold technique, white to illustrate the Barnacle, and in several bright colors that make reference to the marine world and target sites for which it was designed. BalanUs is now a concept in search of a manufacturing company.
The project, designed by architects Anna Puigjaner and Guillermo Lopez, members of MAIO design team (www.maio-maio.com), involves the conversion of a space that formerly housed a washing place into an open studio for professionals from different fields of architecture and design.
The existing 40-meter long building was a continuous space, with variable sections and extremely poor lighting. Hence, the proposal focuses on the opening of a patio, literally conceived as an outer room, to improve the interior lighting. This outer room divides the 40 meters of the initial space into two areas. The front area is open to the street and left empty to accommodate activities related to the public, such as meetings, events, exhibitions … – while the rear side houses a 12,5-meter long table and is intended as the main workspace.
The thickness and warmth of the three new, large windows opened in the patio has been carefully undertaken, making it a place to stay that allows enjoying the outer space while simultaneously turning intermediate thresholds into habitable spaces.
The rest of the space is respected without being substantially modified. It has only changed by means of white paint, thereby minimally affecting a place which is still present in the popular memory of both the neighborhood and its inhabitants.