Author: Tobias Klein and Ben Cowd
On a tectonic level, Contoured Embodiment is a reinterpretation and intervention of and within the Dome of Sir Christopher Wren’s St Pauls Cathedral in London. Crafted and manufactured digitally, the work combines laser-cut planar slices, articulating a traditional relationship of surface and boundary; with rapid prototyped convoluted spaces, proposing a new understanding of space defined by density and fields.
On a conceptual level, the work is guided by a fascination of Catholic Iberian Baroque, an excess of ornament, organic spatial exuberance and the scale-less implementation and rhetoric of symbolism, allegory and narrative explored through the Sacred Heart.
Developed from MRI generated body data and inserted into St Paul’s Cathedral: Space is sculpted viscerally and digitally: Utilizing adjacent properties as constructive and symbolic interpretation; exaggerating sublime illumination and baroque illusion through the interruption of views and distortion of natural light by a complex layering of convoluted skins, veins and arteries. Suspended from the existing intermediate structural cone, the intervention is hung by an array of reinforced tendril structures hidden in the whispering gallery and existing cavities within the dome.
The Sacred Heart amalgamates symbiotically and constructively the qualities of precise contoured geometries and historic spatial displacement of historic monumental architecture (Ben Cowd): With synthetic topographies, digital ornament and volumetric voluptuous embodiment of MRI generated organs (Tobias Klein). The result is a synthesis of ideas and themes, guided by the baroque but exploring and constructing a new understanding of space beyond complexity, boundaries and skins.