Mutated Panels, Milan Design Week Installation

Mutated Panels, Richard Meier Installation, Milan Design Week 2011 Project

Mutated Panels Milan

Contemporary Milanese Installation – design by Richard Meier & Partners Architects

24 May 2011

Mutated Panels

Milan, Italy
Design: Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Installation for INTERNI in Milan


Natural light is the most fundamental element central to Richard Meier’s work. It is manipulated to shape space, lend spirit, and indicate the passage of time and the presence of the sky – all elements essential to a rich architectural experience.

Mutated Panels Mutated Panels Milan Mutated Panels Milan Design Week Mutated Panels Milan Design Week 2011
photos courtesy of Andres Otero and Saverio Lombardi Vallauri

Our expression of mutation is the way natural light evokes both planar and volumetric readings of form. The design of the Mutated Panels consists of a series of walls whose geometries gradually distort in one dimension: their material – concrete – is itself an expression of this plasticity. Placed at the east side of the main courtyard perpendicular to the building’s central cross-axis, the approach from the main entrance highlights the Mutated Panels’ enigmatic qualities. As the observer moves around the installation, the piece emulates the different planar, volumetric, temporal and spatial qualities. First as an inert white concrete square; second as a volume formed by the square and a translucent concrete wall; third as a sequence of distorted panel edges that process behind the square; and last as a linear space within, animated by the twisted panels’ interaction with sunlight to one side, and the delicacy of the translucent wall to the other.

The Mutated Panels become part of our continuous exploration of solid and void, transparency and opaqueness, light and texture, the rational and the intuitive, and the ephemeral with the physical world.

Mutated Panels Mutated Panels Milan Mutated Panels Milan Design Week Mutated Panels Milan Design Week 2011
photos courtesy of Andres Otero and Saverio Lombardi Vallauri


The installation will feature panels of approx. 2-3m x 3m using Italcementi’s TX-Active photocatalytic concrete, a self-cleaning and pollution-reducing material used in Richard Meier’s Jubilee church in Rome (2003); and Styl-Comp’s ingenuity of precast concrete technology using fiberglass formwork to render a smooth, flawless finish. The panels will be arranged in a 10m long sequence from flat to twisted to flat, and will be supported by a raised plinth. The project will also showcase Italcementi’s i-Light translucent concrete panels, which will run along a wall behind the TX-Active panels. These panels will be supported by a steel framing structure. Visitors will be able to walk through a corridor adjacent to the sequence of TX-Active panels and peer through the i-Light panels beyond; their view through the translucent panels will be enhanced by an opaque roof overhead. By day, natural light will reflect and cast shadows along the corridor; by night, the installation will be lit from within and glow when seen from the courtyard.

Location: Università degli Studi di Milano, via Festa del Perdono, 7

At Milan Design Week 2011

Mutated Panels images / information from Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Richard Meier

Location: Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Lombardy, northern Italy

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Comments / photos for the Mutated Panels Milan page welcome