A Vegetarian Restaurant, 2018








The current mayor of Turin has plans to make it the world’s first ‘vegetarian’ city: as part of its five-year plan are initiatives such as educational projects and the introduction of a weekly meat-free day. This proposal is an architecture to promote and further this scheme.

The design process was driven by an investigation into the relationship between food and architecture, (thus cooking and designing a building) and making/material tests. Food and architecture conventionally operate on two ends of the scale spectrum. Food is associated with the microscale, whilst buildings are the envelope for food in many ways. Initial form finding tests were driven by extrusion processes, which is the method in which pasta is produced industrially. Where the process, in an industrial context, celebrates perfection and precision, it was the creases and wrinkles that were intriguing. The weaknesses of the form at 1:1 could become alcoves for dining at 1:100. Initial extrusions developed into a more controlled process, where bespoke dies were printed and used with a more architectural intention. To utilise this process to create building forms was a means to blur the line between food and architecture scales.







Extrusion
 Tests





Food and architecture conventionally operates on two ends of the scale spectrum. Food is associated with the micro scale, whilst buildings are the envelope for food in many ways. Initial form finding tests were driven by extrusion processes, which is the method in which pasta is produced industrially. Where the process, in an industrial context, celebrates perfection and precision, it was the creases and wrinkles that were intriguing. The weaknesses of the form at 1:1 could become alcoves for dining at 1:100. Initial extrusions developed into a more controlled process, where bespoke dies were printed and used with a more architectural intention. To utilise this process to create building forms was a means to blur the line between food and architecture scales.






Process


The project was driven by a series of making tests. The extrusion tests produced weaknesses and creases, the idiosyncrasies in the forms became architectural spaces and objects. A feedback loop between analogue and digital processes began, with the nuances of the objects scanned and reproduced time and time again.




A series of casts created from clay molds, in which positives were pressed.


Cast created from a 3D printed mold







Multi-Scale Model

The research culminated in a multi-scale model. Within the act of eating, the design of the plate and furniture is as important as the wall or facade. The hierarchy of the building shifts to contain the full spectrum of scales. The intention is to apply a consistent language throughout the scales of the project.
Eating, like cooking, is an incredibly haptic process, encompassing all the senses. The design of the project focuses on the forms that were extruded and how they can translate into different scales and serve different functions and each scale. There are material constraints with clay regarding its size; this became an opportunity to develop the material language by testing. Using 3D laser scanning, the forms were digitised and allowed for further manipulation. A series of tests involved 3D prints and casts; this created a feedback loop of the initial forms, where each layer of process adapted the geometry and offered a new interpretation.

Terrazzo was one of the main materials within the project. Initial tests were made using plaster and pigment, and the texture was revealed by carving the surface using a saw. This developed when testing plaster with a polymer binder; which created a material less brittle than plaster and with the ability to be carved. Where traditionally terrazzo was limited to flat surfaces, using this material and CNC technology, complex geometry could be created in terrazzo.










© Priscilla Wong