Stunning Steampunk pavilion bends wood into weird and wonderful shapes

Adam Williams

Steampunk is currently installed in Estonia's Tallinn Architecture Biennial event
Steampunk is currently installed in Estonia’s Tallinn Architecture Biennial event.  Tonu Tunnel. 

Installed at this year’s Tallinn Architecture Biennial event in Estonia, Steampunk is an impressive-looking pavilion that has been painstakingly created by steam-bending lengths of hardwood. The build process was helped along by a Microsoft HoloLens-based system called Fologram.

Steampunk was designed by Gwyllim Jahn and Cameron Newnham of Fologram, with Soomeen Hahm Design and Igor Pantic. It sits atop a grassy mound and divides it into four spaces which frame views towards Tallinn’s old city and its Architecture Museum. It’s a stunning work and really highlights the versatility and natural beauty of wood.

The structure comprises varying lengths of hardwood that are secured using stainless steel brackets. The wood was individually steamed and bent, before being joined together in a process likened to weaving by the team.

Steampunk comprises steam-bent pieces of hardwood that are connected with stainless steel brackets

Steampunk comprises steam-bent pieces of hardwood that are connected with stainless steel brackets.  Tonu Tunnel. 


During construction, volunteer workers wore Microsoft HoloLens headsets, which worked with Fologram’s own software to display images showing how the wood should be bent and where it should be placed. This sped up the process compared to following 2D drawings.

“The Microsoft HoloLens is a mixed reality headset, meaning that it blends digital content with physical environments,” explained Jahn over email. “It has a see-through display and is completely hands-free, which means you can wear it while performing typical construction tasks.

“The biggest advantage of working with the Hololens/Fologram is it is able to accurately position 3D information directly within fabrication environments, and fabricators can effectively use this information as a guide for how long parts should be, what shape they should be, where they should be positioned, how a construction sequence should work, etc.”

If you’d like to see it in person, Steampunk is on display at the Tallinn Architecture Biennial in Estonia, which has the theme “Beauty Matters: The Resurgence of Beauty” and runs until November 17.

The video below offers more information on the build process.

(see link below)
Steampunk Pavilion

Source: Fologram

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