Emerging from the ground as delicate tendrils, Silk is an ethereal and light-weight structure that seeks to create space through a minimal envelope of thin but resilient threads. Carefully woven together, the silky strands gently delineate an inhabitable interior sanctum forming a cocoon that is paradoxically enveloping and unbarred. Soft glowing lights highlight the links in the weave, forming an organically shaped enveloping structural constellation that emerges from the innate qualities and behaviour of the slender rods. These soft glowing lights pulsate throughout the night, their rhythm and intensity responding to the inhabitation of its gently defined space—a playful and graceful relationship between the cocoon and the occupant.
Silk extends from the studio’s applied research into light weight hybrid spatial structures inspired by natural and biological systems—it’s experimental nature a nod to the daring and innovative spirit of Ontario Place’s buildings and landscapes. Its structure takes advantage of two complimentary material systems for its basic character and organization. The first is a networked system of bending-activated structural elements made from engineered pultruded glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) rods.
These bending-active members gain compressive strength when held in bending, producing forms that are both incredibly delicate in appearance and exceedingly robust. These elements are sprung into a network of structural shapes through a second complimentary network of nodes and ground connections. It is at these nodes¬—the critical elements that define the cocoon and give it its strength—that the soft glowing LED lights are located. The structure gains resilience through networked connections, each element of the structure helping support the rest.
Denegri Bessai Studio in Collaboration with Urban Visuals
Founded in 2008, Denegri Bessai Studio is a Toronto-based architecture and design studio with a firm commitment to well-designed and considered spaces that leverage the latest materials and technologies to the benefit of its inhabitants and the city. We hold a deep belief that good design can and must be accessible and within reach for all, and this principle has encouraged our practice to find innovative ways to maintain the quality of our work while adapting to a variety of budgets. At our core, we are problem solvers – our best work the product of challenging constraints that lead to innovative solutions. Projects in the studio are carefully developed through an iterative design process that combines experimental research with engaged client consultation. Extensive material testing and prototyping is a constant factor in the design work of the studio. This approach is made possible thanks to our in-house fabrication lab equipped with a wide range of prototyping tools which allow us to quickly and effectively produce mock ups, models and prototypes. Our interest in fabrication has also led to the commissioning of numerous installations across the country where the studio is able to test, refine and celebrate our research.