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"Materia(l) of light". Architects designed a collection of cladding for interiors

Dobrawa Bies
12 of December '22
Technical data
Name: Matter(³) of Light. Creation of spatial forms integrated with lighting
Subject: Copper, titanium-zinc and ashlar facing. Collection of cladding for interiors
Studio: Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak
Authors: Joanna Muszyńska, Mateusz Waszak
Functions performed: Concept, geometric studies, material selection (Joanna), development of technical documentation, lighting analyses (Mateusz)
Scope of development:

design conceptual design, detailed design, author's supervision of product creation and implementation in private and public interior projects

Working on interior design projects, architects Joanna Muszyńska and Mateusz Waszak noticed that the market lacks prefabricated solutions that enhance the natural beauty of the material. So they decided to create them themselves, proposing a collection of interior cladding called Lico. And how did it come about? We invite you to read an interview with Joanna Muszyńska.

Lico miedziane w realizacji wnętrz biurowych

Copper Lico in an office interior

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

interview with Joanna Muszyńska

Dobrawa Bies: Lico is a collection of cladding for interiors, which was created in response to certain shortages in the market. You could not find suitable finishing materials, so you decided to create them yourself. Please tell us about the design path and the search.

Joanna Muszyńska: Reflection on the quality of materials that function in the human environment accompanies us when we work on subsequent interior design, landscape or design projects. We carefully select the proposed components, products, drawing the attention of investors, contractors, users to durability as an indispensable value. In the end, however, we have not always succeeded in convincing customers to use them, and the place of original details made of noble materials was taken by available substitutes. We came to work on Lic because the compromise does not correspond to our convictions, and the existing alternatives on the market do not meet the expectations of investors. We noticed that interior architecture lacks expressive, prefabricated solutions that enhance the beauty of natural building material while manifesting its timelessness.

In reference to the single-material top layers of structural elements of buildings - roofs, walls, ceilings - applied for reinforcement, protection or aesthetic reasons, we decided to design interior components that give them an analogous expression - cohesion and depth. Among the durable, noble materials that make up the exterior coverings of buildings, we turned our attention to titanium-zinc sheet, which is an alloy of zinc, copper and titanium. Thanks to its natural protective layer - patina - its maintenance-free life is estimated at more than two hundred years. It is characterized by lightness and plasticity, as well as a gray-silver color that enhances the architectural details created. Titanium-zinc comes in several color variants depending on the degree of patination - from metallic luster to graphite brushed surface. It is entirely recyclable.

Lico tytanowo-cynkowe w przestrzeni biurowej Detal lica tytanowo-cynkowego

one of the offered Lic is made of titanium-zinc sheet metal

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

In modern architecture and construction, copper is also an important material, having been used in ancient times to create roofing materials. It does not react to dry air, but in a humid environment it becomes covered with patina, and its slow oxidation is combined with a change in color. The resulting protective layer ensures the life of the material for up to seven hundred years. The process of creating pure metallic copper is energy-intensive, but it is possible to recycle it again and again without generating waste.

The starting thought for the cladding geometry came from observations made during the author's supervision of architectural projects. Existing walls and ceilings, externally smooth and uniformly finished, internally conceal the components that build them. In industrial architecture, due to the possibility of using a single long-span component, especially in frame structures, steel sections dominate, and the most popular of these is the I-section. We were intrigued by its characteristic structure, which resembles two letters T in cross-section, with a commonality in the base, affecting the resistance to permanent and variable loads.

Proces powstawania kolekcji. Eksperymenty materiałowe i detal dokumentacji technicznej

the process of creating the collection. Experiments in materials and detail of technical documentation

© Muszyńska Waszak Design Studio

The designed three-dimensional wall cladding, integrated with linear lighting, is constructed of copper, titanium-zinc sheet metal or ash wood and is a reinterpretation of the rhythm of steel I-beams. Finished in gloss, the copper sheet casts reddish, bright reflections on walls, ceilings, floors and other furnishings. The multiplication of reflections on its glossy surface hides the actual depth of the cladding. A contrasting result can be achieved by using black titanium-zinc sheet, which significantly absorbs light.

When looking for a material to transform the features of the I-beam geometry, we thought of using both a lightweight, linear, sheet material and a solid, compact form. Along with clay and stone, wood is considered the oldest building material, providing structures and finishes for architecture. Among the domestic species, being a durable raw material with a rich, varied grain, the ash tree (from the Latin Fraxinus excelsior, belonging to the olivaceous family Oleaceae) stands out. It is a magnificent deciduous tree, growing up to 40 meters in height, and is counted among the long-lived, living up to 300- 400 years. Its wood is heavy and hard, but the veneer is characterized by flexibility. Ash veneer is built of an overlapping plank, with a V-shaped joint, and vertical slats, milled asymmetrically. The contrasting coloration of the wood, with light sapwood and dark heartwood, was enhanced by gentle brushing and oiling.

Detal lica jesionowego

ash face detail

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

Dobrawa: The prefabricated sheet system we're talking about was created in cooperation with a roofing and facade company. How did this cooperation go?

Joanna Muszyńska: Together we aimed to optimize the industrial process so that the cladding would be three-dimensional while adapting it to the capabilities of numerical bending machines. We worked for a long time with the production technologist so that the lic assembly would be done invisibly, with a minimum of external hardware. We were concerned with rational material management, so that the number of duplicate planes bent from a single sheet was as low as possible. The prefabricated cladding system created, and thanks to the segmented design, can be adapted to the specific width of the room. Subsequent elements are attached by overlapping - thanks to the prior attachment of the wall parts, over which the convex ones are slid in turn. Due to the thermal expansion of the metal, in roofing practice the sheets are usually joined "on the lath" or "on the seam". Thanks to intensive cooperation with an experienced contractor, we have created a proprietary jointin Lico claddingthat corresponds to the assumptions made.

Joanna Muszyńska z blachą miedzianą Mateusz Waszak

from left: Joanna Muszyńska, Mateusz Waszak

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

Dobrawa: There are three types of Lico: copper, titanium-zinc and ash. For whom and for which interiors were they created?

Joanna Muszyńska: Lico is aimed at bold people who value the timelessness of noble materials and avoid seasonal tastes. Thanks to our cooperation with contractors, whose craftsmanship stems from well-established knowledge passed down through generations, lico has been implemented in office, residential and recreational projects. Our determination to create interior concepts so that the spaces created are based on a recurring material, used in an unconventional way, has proven to be of no small importance.

 Wykończona w połysku blacha miedziana rzutuje czerwonawe, jaskrawe refleksy na ściany

Gloss-finished copper sheet casts reddish, bright reflections

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

Dobrawa: The function of light is also important in the implementation. The cladding is integrated with it to bring out the character of the materials. At what point did you come up with the idea for such a combination?

Joanna Muszyńska: The integrity of the material and the light was an elementary premise of the project. It exposes the qualities of the copper sheet, titanium-zinc sheet, and ash wood through the varying degrees of reflection and absorption of their surfaces and the emission of colors into the surroundings. The choice of led tapes, whose COB FOB LEDs form a uniform, even beam, also proved important. In addition, the copper and titanium-zinc L icks have light sources framed in anodized 45-ALU aluminum profiles by Kluś. On the other hand, the Ash Face uses Kluś's HR- ALU profile, located in the recess of the main trim. This allows soft reflections to highlight the features of wood and metal without causing glare.

Lico jesionowe w realizacji wnętrz rekreacyjnych Detal lica tytanowo-cynkowego

The face can be used both in public and private interiors

© Pracownia Projektowa Muszyńska Waszak

Dobrawa: What will be the future of the project?

Joanna Muszyńska: We hope illuminating :) Copper, titanium-zinc and ash lica are available on individual request, in which we adjust the segments that build them to the defined dimensions. Lica are finding more followers, so we are working on a configurator that will facilitate the ordering process on our website. We plan to expand the collection with new geometries and noble builds. We invite you to cooperate in the implementation of prototype pieces. The creation of interior design elements integrated with lighting, showing the values of durable, useful and beautiful materials as essential components of the human environment, is a challenge for us. We will transfer the experience we have gained to future implementations.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview!

interviewed by: Dobrawa Bies

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