The structure under consideration is based on the principle of the square. This has always being the paradigm of architectural thought and represents an instrument with which to delimit the space by defining parts of the whole.

Inspired by Bacon’s theory of 1974, which is basically a simple, deterministic, fractal expression (Environmental condition of a square) and represents the quadratic involution process (involution in that it develops inside a square, a condition which is impossible to find in Euclidean geometry), we present a counter-model.

First, the square is divided through a cross system.

The same principle includes each of the nine squares from the cross-shaped structure. It is possible to extend this principle to two other phases, and thus to another development phase.

The articulation of the line will be extended infinitely, keeping the perimeter of the initial square unchanged. We consider one of the initial steps in the process is to underline a special, formal condition, as it transforms from a pure, simple object into a more articulated shape. Once we had identified the starting point, the cross shape, we built a three-dimensional model to fit to others, which defined a more complex, ever changing, articulated shape, based on flexibility and simple construction and transportation. This is a form which can be adapted to various requirements, and different locations.

Basic module The module is self-supporting and consists of three superimposed layers of composite laminate. The composite materials are made using a polymeric matrix, reinforced with different kinds of fibres. The matrix is the load distributer and the fibre gives the product a straight, mechanical hardness and lightness. This system of material is, therefore, versatile, light and simple to install and to work, recyclable, resistant to corrosion, etc. Opaque or transparent sheets with a low environmental impact are placed in such a way that they cross in the centre of the panel. Subsequently, the module is folded to give a dimension of 1.6m x 1.6m. The anchorage system is obtained by means of 50cm x 50cm steel platforms, which can be fixed to the ground. Several modules are fitted together and fastened with bolts.

The central cross panel has pliable wings, which allow the structure to be completely closed. If the pillars become too large, they have long, folding legs fixed to the wings of the structure.

The final result is extremely varied. It can begin with a simple dome shape to become zoomorphic shapes. This is why it is impossible to compare it with Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic structures, conceived as a unique and indissoluble form. In fact, the modules are self-supporting and are not three-dimensional elements, later rammed as were Fuller’s architectures.

Year: 2002 (realization of prototype)

Architect: Anna Rita Emili

Collaborator: Jo Fonti