Kwaeε (2023)

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Client: Xylotek
Architect: Adjaye Associates
Location: Venice Architectural Biennale 2023:The Laboratory Of The Future

Date: 2023-05-20 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: Digital Design, Parametric Design, Geometry, Timber, Connections


Designed entirely of timber, Kwaeε’s form and materiality—comprised of wood with a black stained finish—takes on the qualities of its namesake which translates as forest in Twi. The newest of David Adjaye’s earth-based social sculptures, Kwaeε is envisioned as both a viewing platform and venue for active programming.

Taking the form of a triangular prism, the 13m tall sculpture merges doorway, platform, assembly, and window into a single, unified entity. The sculpted internal space emerges as a distorted ovoid that punctures the form to create a canopied passage for entry and exit two oculi at the north and south elevations. By minimizing solid surfaces, the all-timber structure cultivates a forest of light and shadow, creating an immersive, cave-like atmosphere.

Envisaged as a temporal device for gathering and recording, the activity within Kwaeε will extend beyond live lectures, panel discussions, and performance, and will also function as a venue for auditory experiences in which thematically relevant archival storytelling, music, poetry, recitals, debates, and lectures will be played.

The Timber Design, Fabrication and Delivery was by Xylotek, who commissioned Format to perform the structural engineering of Kwaeε as part of this package.

Photographs ©Lauren Tyrell and ©Xylotek. See image captions for details.

Project Team

- Design Architect: Adjaye Associates
- Timber Design, Fabrication and Delivery: Xylotek
- Structural Engineers:Format Engineers