Vermiculated Rustications

with Charlotte Skene Catling

Facebook Twitter
Between the conception and the creation
Between the emotion and the response
Falls the shadow.
T.S Eliot, The Hollowmen, 1925

This is architecture as memento mori: a portal to the Underworld, where the subterranean speaks to the subconscious, earthly Self. Here, petrified organic traces and worm-eaten trails meander across the larger framework of stone courses, punctuating the overall façade. ‘Ruin’ reveals biographical narrative, manipulated into decorative pattern making. These organic forms are a rich counterpoint to the blank stare and glazed slickness of many contemporary buildings, where the viewer’s gaze is bounced off the surface through reflection, locked out of any real engagement with an architecture that, as such, remains impenetrable. [...] They are a 21st century architectural Vanitas, speaking of life, death, dirt and time.

Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling
London and Madrid, February 2018
Read the full article on Domus here

In 2017, architect Charlotte Skene Catling and Factum Arte began experimenting with a new language of vermiculated rustication. 

In architecture, rustication is a masonry technique most famous for its use during 16th-century Italian Renaissance (notably in examples like Palazzo Caprini, Rome and Palazzo Te, Mantua), where roughly-cut stones contrast with smooth, squared-block masonry, creating contrasts and textures in the surface. Among the different types of rustication, one of the most interesting is the so-called "vermiculation" variant - from the Latin vermiculus or 'little worm' - where dense worm-like patterns are used to subtly but vividly carve the surface of the rough stone.

In Factum Arte, the irregular nature of vermiculation patterns fascinated the team of 3D experts, who began researching on ways to adapt organic forms into vermiculated patterns. Alan Turing's research on patterns, published in the 1952 'The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis', acted as a fundamental starting point for Factum's Jorge Cano to create a software able to generate infinite and tileable depthmaps that could be later used as base to merge 3D modeling and photogrammetry.

Examples of depth maps generated by Jorge Cano's software © Factum Arte

Examples of depth maps generated by Jorge Cano's software © Factum Arte

Examples of depth maps generated by Jorge Cano's software © Factum Arte

Examples of depth maps generated by Jorge Cano's software © Factum Arte

The depthmap was elevated in 3D using ZBrush © Factum Arte

A number of objects was recorded in high-resolution with the Lucida 3D Scanner or photogrammetry to provide shapes: fragments of dead coral, desert roses, honeycombs, wind-eroded stone and wood were 3D-modeled in ZBrush by Irene Gaumé following the generated depthmap as a background pattern to create the final 3D models.

Two 3D models of coral segments, created after recording the object using photogrammetry © Factum Arte

Two 3D models of coral segments, created after recording the object using photogrammetry © Factum Arte

3D model based on another type of coral © Factum Arte

3D model based on another type of coral © Factum Arte

3D model based on another type of coral © Factum Arte

3D model based on another type of coral © Factum Arte

The depth map was used as guideline to elaborate the 3D model in ZBrush © Factum Arte

The shapes of the two different corals were combined © Factum Arte

Detail of the 3D model © Factum Arte

The final 3D model before being elaborated as a height map © Factum Arte

The final models were CNC-routed on limestone panels after elaborating them as height maps, in order to translate the complex renders on a 2.5 dimensional surface that could nevertheless capture the deep contrasts, shadows and carvings of the patterns.

The 3D model being processed as a height map using ArtCAM © Factum Arte

The 3D model being processed as a height map using ArtCAM © Factum Arte

The 3D model being processed as a height map using ArtCAM © Factum Arte

The final 3D models were CNC-routed on limestone panels © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The finished limestone panel © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of the surface © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Various finished panels © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte


 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
To find out more, read our Privacy & Cookie Policies. Accept