Voussoir Cloud by IwamotoScott



Voussoir Cloud, an architectural installation by American architects IwamotoScott, has opened at the SCI-Arc Gallery in Los Angeles.


The installation is constructed using paper-thin wood laminates, scored with a laser and folded along the curved seam into wedges.


The installation, created in collaboration with engineering firm Buro Happold, opened on 1 August and continues until 14 September.


The photos here were taken by Jud Terry.

The following is from the SCI-Arc Gallery:


The SCI-Arc Gallery is pleased to present Voussoir Cloud, a site-specific installation by San Francisco based architecture and design practice IwamotoScott in collaboration with Buro Happold.


Voussoir Cloud’s design explores the coupling of potentially conflicting constructional logics – the pure compression of a vault with an ultra-light sheet material. Opening August 8, this installation will be fabricated by IwamotoScott in association with SCI-Arc students.


Voussoirs, the wedge shaped masonry blocks that make up an arch, are redefined in Voussoir Cloud using a system of three-dimensional modules formed by folding paper thin wood laminate along curved seams. The curvature produces a form that relies on the internal surface tension to hold its shape and allows for a structural porosity within the constraints of sheet material.


The resulting dimpled, concave modules pack together; naturally creating vaulted forms with a light porous surface. The form-finding exploration of the whole is thus dependent on the geometric performance of the individual units and their relation to the gallery walls.


Voussoir Cloud intentionally confuses the structural and material strategies. By beginning with a material operation, the design process is focused on calibrating the relationship of digital model to physical result. Working closely with IwamotoScott, SCI-Arc students will assist in the design, construction and installation of the work.

Posted on Friday August 8th 2008 at 2:28 pm by Rob Ong. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Benji

    Beats the pulp (NPI) out of the blob wall.

  • helen

    Ok, well now we know that architects can take any material make it into a triangular shape (or some other shape) join’em up and display it museum so that it swoops up from the floor and makes a canopy. How many of these have I seen. Boring!

  • Mattia

    Amen Benji.

  • scruces

    very beautiful, fragile

  • Jogg

    Amazing light in there!

  • Azeem

    Beautiful interplay of light,color,shape!!

  • (Yawn.)

  • Maxence

    SCI ARC…The democratic School….
    It’s beautiful, but it’s really boring, in fact it’s an old shape from Fuller, Emmerisch

  • Marcelo


  • bozo

    use your melon, helen

  • heath

    those shadows are amazing.
    the contrast of heavy gesture with light material is great too.

  • Beautiful shape, WRONG LOCATION!

  • Seth

    Stunningly Beautiful!

  • Artistic Interiors

    I would love to see this used in a park. Children would love it.

  • sam

    i’m much more attracted to the exterior than the interior.

  • beautiful!!!

  • Although the interplay of light, shadow and shape are in ded beautiful, this structure is completely useless from a practical view. Yes Artistic Interiors, children would love it. Those paper thin walls would make grwat craft supplies after the kids at the park got a hold of this. It would quickly become the world’s most overpriced oregami in minutes. Park?? What if it rains??? The sections are open on top, where they would hold water. Boring? maybe. Agrevating? You bet. What a waste of time and wood.

  • vortekxt

    T.K.O: what a waste of words (and thought), on your part.

  • Lesley

    TKO…why so negative? It is an installation, not a building for a "practical purpose" but instead perhaps used to perhaps evoke emotions, a feeing, inspire, affect the lighting, express the possiblities of the material, etc. Your point about rain is completely irrelevant and out of context of the project.