Caroline O'Donnell + Martin Miller: Evitim
Evitim is a 24’ tower in the Architecture Fields at Art Omi, in Ghent, New York that recycles the waste from the adjacent pavilion, Primitive Hut. While Primitive Hut was a decomposing pavilion made of hemp, sawdust, bio resin and manure, 64 sheets of plywood were used to produce the non-decomposable structural components. The leftovers from these CNC cut files were 8’ x 4’ plywood sheets in which the act of removing the components transformed the sheet into a pliable material. Using the leftover sheets’ newfound flexibility, the tower’s skin peels outward from top to bottom, creating four openings that mirror to Primitive Hut’s doors.
This twisting form is supported by four custom-made doubly-curved columns. The laminated beam connects to the steel tower only at the top and at the foot, which is extended and rotated 90 degrees. The two edges—one orthogonal steel, and one curved wood— are restitched using the voided plywood sheets.
The tension between the curvilinear form and the orthogonal have an orthopedic history. The frontispiece to Nicolas Andry’s book Orthopédie (1741) is an apt partner to Laugier’s ‘Primitive Hut’ illustration. The engraving shows a stake tied at regular intervals to a deformed, curvilinear tree. Published 4 years apart, the two illustrate a tendency that mirrors a contemporary position: to look to nature not for imitation, but as a model for how to operate. In the same way that Primitive Hut shows its ambivalence between nature and the artificial, Evitim expresses its duality between the organic and the orthogonal form.
Primitive Hut and Evitim are inverses of each other. While Primitive Hut is a thick volumetric lattice made by aggregation, its doppelgänger is all skin and surface, made by subtraction. Together, the sibling pavilions address questions of nose-to-tail material practices, waste as a resource, and cyclical thinking in architecture.
OMG: O’Donnell Miller Group
Martin Miller of Antistatics and Caroline O’Donnell of CODA
Project Leader: Derek Yi
Team: Alireza Shojakhani, Farzana Hossain, Arthur Yang, Mwanzaa Brown, Bushra Aumir, Osehikhueme Etomi, John Lai, Jason Lin, Anbar Oreizi-Esfahani, Jenny Zhang.
Thanks to: Cornell Architecture, and Cornell AAP, Mike Drake, Kurt Brosnan, Tyler Williams, Frank Parish
Engineer: Scott Hughes, Silman Engineers
Fabrication/Steel Installation: Mike Drake