“Stones initiate a reflection upon our position as humans,” says Superflex, “how we live and what structures we take for granted.” The Danish artistic group is discussing its latest installation, Like a Force of Nature, a collaboration with Mexico City’s Esrawe Studio for stone brand Arca’s warehouse and showroom in Miami. The colourful surface is the face of the new 1,890-square-metre outpost in the city’s Wynwood district, a bustling area known for its impressive murals.
The interior, designed by Esrawe Studio, keeps interventions to a minimum, leaving the brand’s galleries intentionally unperturbed for a “museum-grade experience.” Conversely, the 7.78-metre-tall and 53-metre-wide facade, clad in ceramic tiles, contemplates the power of natural and artificial systems.
“It was a natural process — organic in all of its iterations,” says studio founder Héctor Esrawe. “We were aiming for colour, and from the beginning, we had been talking about a ceramic tile.” Working in tandem with Superflex, Esrawe created two versions of the 25-by-8-centimetre module: one with a raised pyramid at the centre and the other with an indented, concave surface.
Superflex then laid out the tiles — finished in the colourways of Mexican pesos — in a pattern derived from the Fibonacci sequence. In this way, the facade gestures to structures of both human and environmental origin, commerce and nature. “The design of the tiles adds to the flickering appearance,” says Superflex, “aiming to express how the economic systems of today can be experienced as something overwhelming, beyond our control.” When struck by sunlight or the recessed lighting along the base, the varied depths of these elements create a rhythmic play of shadows and a distinct sense of movement.
In echoing the golden ratio found everywhere from the bracts of a pinecone to our own hands, the bold facade–cum–work of art becomes its own thought-provoking force of nature.
In a district known for its murals, bold colours and graphic shapes nod to structures of both natural and artificial origin.