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Products and solutions, 2012-05-11, 09:54 AM

Dibond art in 3D

An impressive work of art is currently on the road. A highlight of the Distinct Ambiguity exhibition in Berlin’s “Haus am Waldsee” is now doing the rounds in Munich, Cologne and Rotterdam. Designed by GRAFT architects, the complex three-dimensional room-filling mirror installation made of DIBOND® panels premiered at Berlin and was seen there until February, 12.

The supplier of the material for this remarkable work is ThyssenKrupp Plastics, with the architects opting for Dibond® mirrors for interior use. “Although it’s very thin, this material has astonishing structural strength,” says architect Wolfram Putz. “What’s more, the reverse, which in this case is mill-finished with a clear coat, displays a high-grade aesthetic.” For the front finish for the total of 40 Dibond® panels manufactured by 3A Composites, GRAFT chose the “silver mirror” version.

Motif with a message

Involved in processing the Dibond® panels into their final installation form were two Berlin-based companies – Reproplan Berlin oHG and Kathrein Tischlerei & Innenausbau GmbH. A longstanding ThyssenKrupp Plastics customer, Reproplan was in charge of the printing. Several motifs were printed directly onto the panels to precise specifications. Showing a district of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the artwork refers directly to a reconstruction project of GRAFT architects in the cradle of jazz. “With this mirror installation, we want to raise awareness and attract further sponsors for our project,” architect Putz explains.

Cut into a variety of shapes

The Dibond® mirror panels were precision-cut by Kathrein Tischlerei & Innenausbau GmbH. The cuts were based on computer-aided drawings from GRAFT. Kathrein converted these into cutting commands, which were executed fully automatically by a CNS milling machine. Each of the 40 panels was given a shape of its own. Assembly at the exhibition venue proved to be highly challenging for Managing Director Thomas Kathrein. “Our job was the technical implementation. The supporting structure was to be as inconspicuous, transparent and ‘unattached’ as possible.” This was ultimately achieved with three small attachment points fastened to stainless steel rods, which thus in no way detract from the artwork’s special qualities.

Biomorphic forms

The exhibit is truly unique – like many of the installations dreamed up by GRAFT architects in the Distinct Ambiguity exhibition. According to Putz, the mirror installation consists of biomorphic and organic forms reminiscent of CT scan images. The silhouette of the complex shape undergoes a metamorphosis from oval cutouts into the outline of a bird. The exhibit brings together different layers of interpretation. Firstly, the printed motif shows the destruction wreaked by Katrina in New Orleans. At the same time, the exhibit is a sectional image of an ongoing process, of a phoenix rising from the ashes. It also represents a kind of image generator that facilitates reflections on the mirror and printed surfaces.

“The mirror installation is an object lesson in Dibond®’s versatility and what it can be used for,” stresses Andreas Horn, field service employee of ThyssenKrupp Plastics Berlin. “We’re delighted that GRAFT architects are presenting an artwork made of precisely this material in such a prestigious exhibition.” In the course of the year, Distinct Ambiguity will be on show at the AIT ArchitekturSalons. The exhibition will be stopping off in Munich from May 24 to 27, then moving on to Cologne from August 23 to October 4 before rounding off the tour in Rotterdam from October 12 to November 19.

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