Giles Miller Studio created the façade of “The Bolt”, a pavilion built for Shinola of Detroit at Clerkenwell Design week in London, using 8000 painted wooden elements to create a leather-like effect. The American company makes products ranging from watches and jewellery to bicycles, including bags, wallets and numerous objects for everyday use and athletic use, all strictly made by hand out of real leather. The company needed a particularly attractive exhibition pavilion for Clerkenwell Design Week
, and it appointed London’s Giles Miller Studio to develop the concept because of the studio’s vast experience experimenting with construction materials and surfaces. The designers aimed to come up with a new form of technological expression suitable for the occasion, concentrated in a rather small space, only 24 metres long and 3 metres high. The studio combined the company’s trademark lightning bolt with the material that connotates its products, leather. In partnership with Cut-online of Britain, they made 8000 plywood elements cut to the desired shape with CNC machinery
. At this point the challenge was to assemble 120 of them for each upright, fitting them together with simple frames which were in turn hooked onto the structure of the main pavilion. These were then finished with a simple fireproof spray paint
to make the whole look as similar to leather as possible, a direct reference to Shinola products. The sinuous outer volume of the wrapper features an original chiaroscuro effect obtained only when all the parts are assembled and the building is complete.
The moiré texture perceived on the outside of the building, referred to as the “Louvre-system”, creates a now you see it/now you don’t sensation in relation to the products on display behind the façade, which can of course be viewed better from inside the pavilion. This creates the desired teaser effect for people viewing the building from outside.
Project: Giles Miller Studio
Realization: Giles Miller Studio - Cut-online
Location: London, Clerkenwell, St. John Square
Period: May 23rd -25th 2017