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Bending, glinting, springing to form, framing the bay, a single material, a radically limited pallet of manipulations: GNaum

Featured in the new book: Material Operations

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Size: 8′ x 8′ x 10′
Client: Confidential
Dates: 2014

Bending, glinting, springing to form, framing the bay, a single material, a radically limited pallet of manipulations: GNaum

Featured in the new book: Material Operations

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Size: 8′ x 8′ x 10′
Client: Confidential
Dates: 2014


GNaum, the Garden Naum, is a habitable sculpture, just large enough for two people. It is named to acknowledge the Russian Constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo who utilized thin planar materials to depict the volume of a figure without carrying its mass.

GNaum builds on our previous metal folding and bending projects, such as One-Fold and Cocoons, which construct robust shells through a simple folding or ‘braking’, and subsequent bending or ‘springing’ of light gauge stainless steel sheet. In this case two 5’ x 12’ rectangular 16 gauge sheets are each folded 3 times in a conventional sheet-metal brake, joined to a steel base-frame and to each other to ‘spring-form’ one-half of the volume. Two identical halves are then nested into one another and connected to each other at base-frame and at apex to describe a subtly asymmetrical bi-lateral figure.

From sprung-form to sculptural volume, GNaum achieves monumental presence through the simple manipulation and assembly of thin stainless steel sheet material.

Architect: Patkau Architects Inc.

Design Team: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Pete Wenger

Fabrication: Morph Industries

Installation: Tom Schroeder, Pete Wenger

Photos: James Dow

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