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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Second Skin for The Lake and Stars by Barker Freeman Design Office designed using Rhino, V-Ray, and Grasshopper

August 12th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Barker Freeman Design Office

SECOND SKIN is an installation proposal designed to complement the aesthetic and image of the clothing line of the Lake and Stars.  The initial concept was to develop a space that recalled the way in which the designers see lingerie as something that can be playfully exposed and integrated into everyday wear.  The architects developed surfaces of abstracted “skins” that alternately reveal and conceal spaces with varying levels of privacy.  Fittingly, teh inspiration for the structure comes from the pissoirs that line the banks of canals in Amsterdam.

Side view

  • Architects: Barker Freeman Design Office (BFDO)
  • Project: Second Skin for The Lake and Stars
  • Software used: Rhino, Grasshopper, and V-Ray were used for Second Skin.
  • Software used: Rhino, V-Ray, Grasshopper

Top view

These structures allow very private acts to take place in public through the design of the structure, which is configured as a spiral made of perforated metal mounted on standards above a drain.  The spiral shape and relative opacity of the material allows for private acts to take place without doors, though the body is not completely enclosed.   The other inspiration was the spatial sensibility of moving through one of Richard Serra’s torque ellipses, whose canted, curved surfaces propel the visitor into forward movement and sensorial engagement and create an environment of anticipation and delayed revelation. In the proposal, the “skins” curve and curl to create a ruled surface that forms dressing areas and backdrops for hanging and shelving display as well as the checkout counter.  The existing perimeter walls are secondary sites for display and storage.

View from back

The elements in the  proposal will be produced by both digital fabrication processes and analog construction techniques.    The materials represent a range of sensibilities, from the high-tech yet sensual materiality of the skin, which is to be fabricated of translucent silicone sheeting to the rough look of the structure of blackened steel, reclaimed sawcut lumber shelving and exposed fasteners.

View from Entry

The silicone skin is to be laser cut to create a pattern of openings derived from abstracted panty silhouettes that range from openings that recall thongs to bikinis to granny pants to provide varying levels of visibility through the surface.   These panels will be mechanically fastened to the blackened steel ribs that will be secured at the perimeter walls and at the floor.


Ceiling-hung curved closet bars provide space for hanging, and CNC-milled shelves made of reclaimed lumber provide counter surfaces for the horizontal presentation of merchandise and are designed to stabilize the canting surfaces to which they attach.  The primary lighting is to be a series of incandescent bulbs hung from the ceiling with red conduit.  Vertical fluorescent fixtures will illuminate the area beyond the skin and backlight it to produce a subtle glow.

Long section

Plan Section

Short section

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Categories: Gallery, Grasshopper, Rhino, V-Ray

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