img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Intervention Architecture’s Anna Parker chooses three specification favourites

Words:
Anna Parker

Why Anna Parker loves chip foam, rough cast concrete and CNC sheet cutting fabrication

Valchromat
Valchromat

Valchromat 

Enabling our research into low-cost CNC sheet cutting fabrication, Valchromat is a textured and colourful MDF, made of softwood waste and dyed with organic and non-toxic colours. We used it for our volunteer programme ‘make:it_brum’, a collaboration with Arup in Birmingham, where we worked with local school children to design and build a pavilion to further insights into careers in design and construction. For our latest project we tested its structural capabilities and developed our own angular jig pieces to create a self-supporting enclosure just in Valchromat. The spectrum of tones offers interesting experiential properties too. 

Chip foam.
Chip foam.

Chip foam

Chip foam, a lightweight, high density recycled foam, can be used in many ways. We appropriated it to use as backdrop infills and seat cushions, for its acoustic properties and its softness for seating, for an exhibition we designed and made recently in a local Birmingham gallery, Grand Union. We were searching for a material which would add warmth and comfort to an open plan gallery, as well as a pop of colour (we went for pink) with interesting terrazzo-like flecks providing an almost kaleidoscopic effect, to contrast with the joinery framework which we built in blond birch ply.

Rough-cast concrete.
Rough-cast concrete.

Rough-cast concrete

We took part in an artists’ show at Centrala in Birmingham, and wanted to recreate domestic objects from the home dematerialised within an immersive installation that we built. For this we tested alternate rough casting concrete recreations from latex mouldings. Through this process we embraced the handmade and mis-shapen versions of a traditional construction material such as concrete, and have since specified kitchen worktops to have a similar character of roughness and imperfection to create an informal and crafted effect. When we made the cast objects, our concrete bar of soap also pleasantly retained the fresh smell. 

 

Latest

Southover barn conversion in Wells, Somerset invisibly integrates Cupa Pizarras Thermoslate panels that convert sunlight into energy into a traditional pitched slate roof

Somerset project integrates Thermoslate panels with Cupa R12 slates

In the last of three Q&As that consider the implications of the draft Building Safety Bill, Hilti talks to Neil Farrance of Formation Architects

The draft Building Safety Bill and what it means for skills, knowledge, experience and behaviour

In the second of three Q&As that consider the implications of the draft Building Safety Bill, Hilti talks to Will Freeman of Enframe Consulting

The draft Building Safety Bill and what it means for design

In the first of three Q&As that consider the implications of the draft Building Safety Bill, Hilti talks to Jenny Carter-Vaughan of broker Affinity Select Insurance Services

The draft Building Safety Bill and what it means for PI cover

Does blame for the 2018 tragedy really lie with the electrical fault, or is there a more racially charged explanation for this tragedy? asks Eilidh Allan, commended in RIBAJ/Future Architects writing competition

Is there a racially-charged explanation for the Grenfell tragedy, asks Eilidh Allan