Thursday, September 30, 2010

FioredelCielo: a user story

Designed in Rhino, FioredelCielo is the competition-winning project for "La Macchina di Santa Rosa" of Viterbo in Italy (2009). The design concept was developed by Architecture and Vision using parametric 3D design methods and experimenting with models and real scale mock-ups in collaboration with local manufacturers and experts.

Each year, at the beginning of September, the 30 m high structure is carried through the narrow streets of the medieval town and stops at each major square. Every five years a new design is introduced. FioredelCielo is characterized by a space-frame structure wrapped with three helix bands. Inside three perforated spheres are suspended on different levels representing different stages of Santa Rosa's life (the patron of the city).

All the materials used, like the light-weight steel truss design and waterjet perforated aluminum panels, are fire-resistant. The tower weighs less than five tons. The tower is illuminated by hundreds of candle flames and more than 1200 computer-controlled LEDs. A sophisticated scenography has been developed to emotionally move the people participating in the event. At one stop, thousands of rose petals are released, gently falling from the top of the tower onto the people.

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