Evolution of Process, Part 1: Early Work
Vicki Scuri SiteWorks’ early projects are characterized by a strong sense of physical and visual experientially. Physical models, built in paper and board, gave a 3D representation of the plans and allowed for exploration of form and pattern. Making a model can tell so much more than a drawing alone. Spatial relationships are important to our projects, which are always integrated into larger sites. Dreamy Draw Pedestrian Bridge, above and below, shows how a model can help fit a project to its site better. The ramps, walls and railings were all modeled physically and the final project was built to reflect design of the model.
Patterning is a hallmark of our work and we have been revolutionary in creating techniques to add patterning to concrete while working within standard construction processes. Vicki invented a way to use tire treads as ready-mades for creating molds and many of the early projects, such as Dreamy Draw, explore the possibilities of this technique. However tire treads limit patterns to linear expressions and her work moved past this, making stronger connections to site, as seen at La Cholla, above and below. La Cholla was Vicki’s first project using CNC technology to create surface relief.
Hand placing stones and other ready-made elements with custom sculpted features allowed Vicki to push the patterning even further. The general movements of the pattern could be worked out and then the specific textures developed digitally. These first attempts at creating a carving to use in a surface relief digitally were experimental but ultimately successful and serve to inspire further exploration of the possibilities of digital modeling. La Cholla and Shoreline Interurban Trail Pedestrian Bridges, above and below, both show how hand placed elements can fit into digitally modeled and carved elements.
Not all of our work is in surface patterning. We also add form to projects and shape their appearance. Because of this, we have learned to work with a variety of materials to achieve our goals. Concrete, metal, even lighting and landscaping can transform a space if treated within a holistic conceptual vision. The towers of Douglas and Lewis Street Bridges, above and below, work with all the other elements at the site to form a larger expression. They were fist modeled physically and digitalized and rationalized for fabrication.
Integrating a project into its site and reflected community identity with form and pattern can be a complex process. It takes skill and inquiry to find the best way to represent a creative vision. Over the years we have found that digital tools can help manifest our ideas and create successful projects.
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