Emma Tucker, August 10, 2013
“Cloudscapes is, in effect, an experiment in creating a new type of architectural space.”
Japanese architect Tetsuo Kondo has built a container of clouds, allowing visitors to experience an artificial sky inside a cleverly, and carefully, controlled environment.
Artist Berndnaut Smilde has achieved widespread fame over the past year for a series of carefully staged photographs that bring perfectly formed, fluffy white clouds indoors.
Whilst Smilde’s work provokes an immediate response, it only offers a visual appreciation of its subject. Architect Tetsuo Kondo has gone the extra step and recreated a cloud in its entirety, paying close attention to colour, density and movement. Whilst inhabiting Kondo’s installation, visitors are able to ascend through the clouds as if entering part of the sky itself.
The installation is housed in the Sunken Garden of the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Tokyo, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the piece from the various areas of the museum, as well as allowing a view across the building tops of Tokyo from inside the cloud container.
The project faithfully recreates all the movement and unpredictability of a real-life sky; the clouds constantly shift position and density, and have been designed to function in sync with the time of day and the weather outside the box.
To sustain the clouds, the container holds a carefully controlled environment, with temperature and humidity set at specific levels, designed to ensure the clouds keep their shape and density.
Visitors are able to climb a set of stairs inside the container, and pass through the bank of clouds to reach the top, where they can view the surrounding Tokyo skyline.
“Cloudscapes is, in effect, an experiment in creating a new type of architectural space, one that achieves integration in engagement with its environment,” the studio explain, in a press release about the project.