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Sculptural Flooring

Listing #1958   Listed on: 03/15/2009

Company Name: Fluted Beams LLC

Contact Name:   Chris Mroz
Ok, floors are flat, but not this one. Commissioned by a large landscape architectural firm in London for a project site in Seoul, this is the first of about 1200 modules of sculptural flooring, each 7' x 7' square. It is designed around our unique Extreme Wood Bending (TM) process. Each module has 14 solid Red Oak planks, 5/4 thick by 6" wide, by about 8' long, compressed while still green to be made flexible using a proprietary process, then cold bent to the desired shape, then kiln dried to fix the shape. Please review my website to find more information about wood compression and Extreme Wood Bending before initiating questions on the process here.

The modules go together to form about 60,000 sq ft of undulating, solid hardwood decking in an indoor setting, under a very large glass atrium roof that connects two upscale shopping malls, 2 office towers and a large hotel complex designed by one of the worlds leading architectural firms headed by starchitect Richard Rogers.

The concept is somewhat like a yacht deck, with contrasting expansion joints in-between each plank. There is a structural sub-deck below the planks that we also built. The planks run linearly throughout this park, but they bend up and over to form benches, pathways, amphitheaters, and landforms. There is a river, waterfall, bamboo forest and giant rock shards that the modules abut. The whole thing cascades from one main floor onto 5 additional floors within the atrium space. At this point, only this module has been built, to help work out design and fabrication issues. I've worked with the landscape architects for over a year to get this far, and the next steps are exciting as I enter a bid stage followed potentially by a 2 year fabrication stage.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication, 2.1m x 2.1m.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication. Sculptural Flooring, 2.1m x 2.1m.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication, bench detail.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication.

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Fluted Beams LLC bent wood fabrication.

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Fluted Beams LLC fabrication.

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: arlen     [03/15/2009]
I like this floor. It reminds me of the floor at the Kunsthaus museum in Vienna. It was designed by the artist F. Hundertwasser. Check it out here

Posted By: Smokey     [03/15/2009]
Awesome work. Hope you get the contract.

Posted By: Gerald T Ortman     [03/17/2009]
1. Beautiful work.
2. Do you expect microclimate problems under all that glass. Everything from baking sun to condensation.
3. Just curious, have issues been addressed concerning wheel chairs, elderly folk walking off the end of the seat feature ( I presume that is what the demo piece illustrates.) Having to install guards and warning everywhere would reduce the beauty. I think the idea is great, however an acre and a half of this would seem to raise some safety/liability issues that are worrisome. Will there be defined flat walkways?

Posted By: Chris Mroz     [03/17/2009]
The glass issue shouldn't be problematic. It is at least 80' tall, with 6 stories of this fabrication. HVAC will be high tech. I'm not the one that gets to consider codes in Seoul, but there is plenty of talent engaged on those and other issues. There are large flat expanses, extensive artistic railings, and flat pathways within the project.

Posted By: Jim     [03/19/2009]
Fasten seal belts...

As a demonstration of your ability to twist, bend and otherwise torture good wood, even the Mad Hatter himself would be forced to tip his hat.

As a functional floor,I am seasick, and in fact, if you distressed this up a bit you might pawn it off as as salvaged floor section from HMS Titanic.

As a pure "work of art", I truly hate it (which is a very good indicator that this is probably very very good).

This belongs in an Art gallery in front of a three-eye Picasso.

Just because you can do this doesn't always mean you should (unless of course they're paying you a lot of money) and in that case, can I help?

Just having a little fun here...this is unbelievable. I can't even imagine the magical hoops you must have hopped through to accomplish this.

Wazoo to you!

Posted By: Chris Mroz     [03/19/2009]
Thanks Jim (I think:). Cheers, Chris.

Posted By: Josh Weltman     [03/20/2009]
That is super-cool! I've had visions of some furniture designs that could use some of that technique. Let me know if you ever want to collaborate. Best of luck with it!!

Posted By: Chris Mroz     [03/20/2009]
Josh, I do collaborate on a few projects. This has led to some unexpected prototypes, and I encourage talented woodworkers to make contact. I find my leverage in ideas multiplies by the number of people available to collaborate with. I look to make things in wood that couldn't otherwise be done (at least practically). This has led to manufacturing new musical instruments, unusual structural beams, and exploring finishing capabalities that I didn't have on my own. I have thought about furniture using this fabrication technique. I'll probably do it when it becomes a funded project, or when there aren't enough funded projects and I can't stop making things.

Posted By: Chris Mroz     [04/12/2009]
A news article was published on this piece a few days ago that provides more pictures and detail at the Tacoma News Tribune

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