Textiles are used widely to decorate interior spaces. As this is the part of the building which is protected from weather conditions, the beauty of textiles can be appreciated without the worry that they will rot away. This can be seen everywhere, from western weddings to arabic shisha lounges, middle aged tapestries to the commonly used window blind. The light and shadows which fall on creases and ruffles have been considered beautiful for centuries, being a commonplace feature in many works of art, it is only fitting that we stretch the perceptions of fabrics in the modern day.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are artists which do just that. Not content with the small scale use of fabrics they have developed their artworks and installations to do the unthinkable. Among other things, they are know for their large scale wrappings, where they wrap buildings and bridges completely in textiles, demanding attention to the features of fabric we forget to appreciate in our day to day lives. The aesthetic impact is everything, the works are created to promote beauty, tenderness and freedom, created to be purposefully temporary to enhance their impact and values.
The one I am most interested in, though, is the creation realised by Christo outside of the partnership. Christo’s Big Air Package is a 90m high inflated textile occupation within a Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany. Made with 20,350m of translucent polyester and rope, the space inside is a beautiful pearly white dome, seeming to go on forever. Illuminated by 60 projectors and the skylight of the Gasometer, the space almost seems like an ice cave without the discomfort of the cold.
How can I apply this inspiration to my building?
I feel an over use of bare concrete on the inside would be a missed opportunity. The depth created by the suspended white fabric is incomparable to a blank white wall. Suspending neutral coloured textiles will add to the feeling of walking into a pile of fabric as well as complementing the colours of the waste fabric piles inside.
I do feel that the textiles would have to be removable, however, so that they can maintain their hygiene.