2016 VMODERN Furniture Design Competition
VG Studio – Victoria Goldstein
“Band-Rail” ripples effortlessly through space while holding considerable book weight. Colorful book covers and magazines add beauty to the living room area in this little loft apartment, and adorn the rhythmic repetitive character of the handrail’s vertical components. Storage space is integrated to the staircase and generates an elegant and vibrant environment.
The form begins with a simple elongated prism that ‘blobs’ out near arms reach while climbing the stairs or walking past them, and then bulges back in where the user can’t reach to grab a book. Such association between both bodies, the living and the inert, generates a decorative yet functional play; where the eye recognizes difference and the hand can comfortably reach.
The handrail-bookshelf is a regularly spaced aggregation of flat and slender pieces, it appears simple and crisp when viewed from the front yet reveals a full body when seen at an angle. This sculptural quality allows for the object to appear as an architectural feature, which is both usable and smooth to look at. Many iterations were run to determine appropriate structural deviation within the pieces, adding weight with backing and shelving features wherever the main structural gills ‘blob out’, and removing shelving weight elsewhere, thus arriving to an optimized moment between structural layout and aesthetics.
The tone of wood maintains a calid ambiance and is light enough to reveal some shades projected in between the pieces, orchestrating an overall ‘curvy’ rhythm between matter and void, between light and the absence of it. The piece provides compositional variation depending on the viewers’ position, from skeleton to skin as the ‘gills’ separate and recompose. Bookshelves tend to be visually heavy and stagnant but ‘band-rail’ lets air flow around it and users see through.
Detox the building process
Made of wooden ‘gills’ and supported by a minimal steel beam the handrail is mechanically fastened and brought to site in a few pre-assembled pieces that fit inside a standard car. The wood was selected to optimize automated router cutting considering variables of thickness, grain and softness. No glue, no tint, and router-refined edges to prevent sanding make the building process seamless. Joints are coupled in between components through shape and precision; resulting in the detox of the process.
An addition of simple generative and fabrication steps make “Band rail” eye candy and the resulting fabrication process keep it clean to share space with.
Design: VG Studio – Victoria Goldstein
Rendering: Munjer Hashim
Local Architect: Luciana Melicchio