The BIC Structure

The BIC Structure is exhibited at the Muziekgebouw until the 24th of August.

Using thousands of BIC pens; AAU Anastas and Yann Santerre were able to construct this 24 m2 experimental pavilion exhibited during the 2015 IASS symposium in the Muziekgebouw in .

The time of endless growth and unlimited consumption is over. Recycling, reusing, and transforming are new ways to answer current demands of sustainability. New constraints are progressively incorporated in the stakes of projects. The ecological war has been declared. Industrial waste and ocean-flooding toxic substances are spoiling the earth. Our design culture has thus to be reevaluated. It is not about imposing new norms, rules or relevant criteria. Defining new initial conditions is not sufficient either. A new way of thinking is required.

Not only is the BIC pen affordable, industrial and functional, but it is also an innovative object. It is a technical display of a way of thinking. The same way of thinking that has produced the great engineering of contemporary history. Since its invention in 1950, more than 100 billion pens have been produced. Umberto Eco defines it as “Intentionally ugly [it] became beautiful because it is practical, economical, indestructible, and organic, the BIC Cristal is the only example of realized socialism. It cancels any right to property and any social distinction.” The BIC is thus more than a pen.

© Julien Lanoo

Reusing BIC® Cristal ® pens is not only about the process of subverting a symbol of a way of thinking, it is also about going beyond the scale of a unique pen. Integrating the 14.7cm pen in the design process of 6m long, 4m wide and 4m high pavilion transforms the scale use of the pen. It is the main component of a pavilion in a structural engineering competition and is no longer seen as a pen but as a texture whose light effects increase as the number of pens do.

The goal of form-finding is to find structures in static equilibrium. This objective is achieved by defining particles, with masses, on which loads are applied, and strings with specified stiffnesses and lengths. The overall procedure attempts to equalize the sum of all forces in the system.

The three parts of the pavilion are defined differently in a unique model. The central part (red) and the hanging part (blue) are defined alike. The only difference is the direction of applied loads. With applied loads upwards, the central part takes the shape of a “perfect” compression vault. On the other hand, with applied loads downwards, the hanging part is a cable net working in tension. As for the intermediate part, a bending strength is included in the form-finding by trying to keep each three consecutive particles in a straight line.

During the form finding process, the values of numerical quantities (e.g. bending strength) are arbitrary since it is only their ratios that affect the shape.

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

© Julien Lanoo

Structural Details

Courtesy of AAU ANASTAS

Courtesy of AAU ANASTAS

Courtesy of AAU ANASTAS

Project info:

Program: Experimental Pavilion

Area: 24 m2

Location: Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam — NL

Project by: AAU ANASTAS, The University of Miami and Yann Santerre

Design team: Yousef Anastas, Elias Anastas, Yann Santerre, Landolf Rhode Barbarigos, Tim Michiels and Victor Charpentier.

Fabrication team: Margaux Gillet, Yousef Anastas, Elias Anastas, Yann Santerre.

Supported by: BIC ® Company – France, École nationale supérieure d’architecture de la ville et des territoires à Marne-la-Vallée.

Photos: Julien Lanoo

Previews articles about AAU ANASTAS on Herskhazeen click here

For more details about the project, click here


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