commitment to physical models and digital imaging software. The project was borne out of a
model made from preposterous materials—noodles and sugar.
new hotel/shopping center in North Eastern China. We began with a model made out of food.
Everyone loved it but it was clearly an impossible material, and method, for making a large-
scale hanging sculpture. A list was compiled of characteristics to focus on—“fuzziness”,
“translucency”, and “randomness”, to name a few—and with those in mind the development
throughout the year. Modeling software was used to determine which areas of the space
received the most light, which received the least, and when this was happening. Cross-
sections of the building were examined for shadow patterns. Returning to the BAM Shape Lab,
exhaustive shape studies were completed, heated arguments were had, and the form of the
individual units that will make up the cloud was eventually decided upon with unanimous
excitement. With the shape of the individual unit and the illuminating information provided
by the sun studies, BAM went back to the 3D modeling and determined a number of possible
overall shapes/sizes for the installation. Maps were made of “sun volumes”—three
dimensional shapes representing varying light intensities within the installation space—
arming BAM with an understanding of how to manipulate the piece for maximum effect.
individual pieces that can’t be found at your local building supply, or anywhere else for
that matter. The process of manufacturing the nodes that serve as the core of our
“urchins” has proven to be a bit of an uphill battle—time and again plastic manufacturers
have told us that “it can’t be done”. The BAM team responds to statements of this nature
with an unflappable optimism: “Of course it can, and we’ll do it ourselves”. As a result,
all models and prototypes for the Wintergarden have been made in house by BAM designers.
This massive art installation was opened on May 15, 2011.