Schiara Lantern

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An approximately six-foot-diameter lantern consisting of a single hollow volume constructed from multiple translucent molded composite parts with numerous apertures at multiple orientations.

Greg Lynn/FORM and Kreysler & Associates have been working together for some time to develop lightweight, translucent, composite building elements and systems using colaborative digital design and fabrication tools. The over 40-foot-long luminous ceiling lantern of the Bloom House is one early example. As 3D computer models and CNC tools increasingly allow the realization of complex forms, traditional material and construction processes become less relevant.

We are rapidly moving toward building systems based on custom-formed materials. Continuous section structures such as plywood, two-by-fours, and I-beams will give way to monocoque structural systems that will improve efficency by combining enclosure with structure and by using materials such as composites.

Composite materials, those using high modulus fibers encapsulated in energy-efficient synthetic resins, can be formed in ways traditional materials cannot. These materials, combined with 3D and parametric modeling tools, are fully scalable. This work, Schiara Lantern, represents an example of this process and is fully capable of controlling the construction of entire buildings in essentially the same way. Furthermore, composite materials, particularly those made with unsaturated polyester resins and glass fibers, are more environmentally efficient than typical methods of construction. Far less energy is consumed in the manufacture of the materials themselves, likewise the fabrication, and usually the installation. Even more environmental efficiency can be realized using resins made from soy oil or other bio-based materials and fibers made from natural materials such as hemp, flax, bamboo, or seagrass. Using these new tools to integrate design, fabrication methods, and materials yields opportunities to explore entirely new ways of building objects, regardless of size or purpose.

Greg Lynn
Greg Lynn/FORM
1817 Lincoln Boulevard
Venice, California 90291 USA

Bill Kreysler
Kreysler & Associates
501 Green Island Road
American Canyon, California 94503 USA