Chrysalis is an assemblage of architectural structures that can be explored by you on the plaza. Your presence imbues the installation with life; the entrance archways' and tower pavilion's lit skins will react or blush to acknowledge your movements. This lifelike responsiveness resuscitates and counteracts the banality of so many everyday functional spaces, which have been scraped of all embellishment. As you proceed through the communal seating area into the installation's tracking system, it reacts and adjusts the lighting. Once inside the tower, you will experience it's core, an overhead explosion of baroquely patterned, light and decoration, similar to looking into a large kaleidoscope. The core will be changed and reconfigured each month to display different exotic designs and configurations further rewarding the repeat visitor with a sense of anticipation.
Chrysalis is an assemblage of architectural structures that can be explored by you on the plaza. The installation is situated on the convention center plaza's southern edge and integrates into the landscape of a partially enclosed grassy triangle. Upon entering through the archways as a visitor you will be enticed to explore and mingle with others within this interactive space. Your presence imbues the installation with life; the entrance archways, and tower pavilion's lit skins will react or blush to acknowledge your movements. This lifelike responsiveness resuscitates and counteracts the banality of so many everyday functional spaces, which have been scraped of all embellishment. The LED lighting system will be directed by your movements as seen by a network of tracking cameras mounted on the tower. A cluster of seating within will give you the opportunity to absorb these activities and people watch others as they move throughout the site.
Once inside the tower pavilion, at night you will experience its core, an overhead explosion of baroquely patterned, light and decoration, similar to looking into a large kaleidoscope. During the day as the sun transits the sky the interior will fill concentrated rays of light. The core will be changed and reconfigured approximately once a month to display different exotic designs and configurations. This modular core will be constructed out of lightweight corrugated plastic, inscribed with patterns and augmented with high refractive holographic vinyl to reflect the light. As the core changes over the course of the summer, this renewed experience, will entice you to visit again and again, further rewarding the repeat visitor with a sense of anticipation.
From a technical perspective, the Chrysalis architectural installation will be built with a series of entry archways, a communal seating court, and a tower pavilion. Each of these elements will be skinned with corrugated plastic, which will then be mechanically fastened to an internal steel framework. This structural system and attachment to the plaza has been engineered in-house by our team. Our own specialized CNC knife-cutting machine and digital tools, will be used to fabricate the corrugated plastic skins. While the design for the tower's modular core will be built in segments for quick deployment and attachment to the tower's internal structure. At the conclusion of the installation, the skins and frameworks will be carefully disassembled for recycling and the plaza restored to is original condition.
Wil Natzel graduated from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009 with a Master of Architecture. He has produced and assembled large architectural constructions of cut cardboard for The Soap Factory, Northern Spark 2012, SooVAC, Perot Museum of Science and Nature, and Southern Methodist University. His work has been published in Wired. In 2007 he received a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University. He has served as a guest juror at the University of Michigan, Iowa State University, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Early in his career, he interned for Charlie Lazor, designing FlatPak prefabricated bathrooms. Wil’s field of work circulates around the periphery of eclectic architecture, counteracting the banal.
Jerry Natzel / Minnesota / Professional Mechanical Engineer
Jerry Natzel has been a consulting engineer for more than twenty five years and has been involved in crane design for the US Navy to ethanol plants for farm cooperatives, along with numerous other engineering projects. He has worked in collaboration with Wil Natzel, providing engineering services and assembling the various large architectural constructions for The Soap Factory, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Northern Spark 2012. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University and is professional licensed engineer in Minnesota. He is presently managing the construction of a house designed by Wil Natzel, which is being built in Taylors Falls Minnesota.