Paper tubes create spectacular ceiling landscape

Ceiling design can benefit from the use of materials not typically associated with interior architecture. Choosing a material with little weight but apparently great potential for creating dramatic ceiling structures, Cristina Parreño (from Cristina Parreño Architecture) designed the ceiling for the 2013 International Art Fair ARCO in Madrid out of paper. The results prove that using paper in ceiling design is not only possible, but highly effective in changing the vibes of a space. 

The Paper Chandeliers were built in collaboration with an MIT team – James Coleman, Sharon Xu, Koharu Usui, Natthida Wiwatwicha and Hannah Ahlblad. The ceiling was covered with 5,200 vertical white cardboard tubes arranged into a dense undulating structure. Even though the tubes were identical, asymmetry was achieved by hanging them from a wire mesh at different heights.

Using paper in ceiling design for an art exhibitionIn order to position each tube at the right height and create this spectacular paper landscape, a computer program was used to cut the cabling that holds the tubes.

Redefining the shape of the ceiling, these unconventional “chandeliers” softened the angles of the interior space and created the impression of a dynamic, living piece of interior architecture. They achieved the difficult task of suggesting a massive architectural body while being light and delicate.

Modern space with undulating ceiling landscape made of paperThe light, coming from a very simple installation placed above the chandeliers, was channeled through the paper tubes and redefined the ambiance of the space.

Tubes hung at different heights to create a curved surfacePrice accessibility and recycling potential were two reasons behind Cristina Parreño’s decision to use paper in the ceiling design. While this ceiling structure was just a temporary design solution because of the high flammability of paper, it recreated the interior and added another element of artistic vision to a space dedicated to contemporary art.

Example of a unique ceiling made from an eco-friendly material

Designer: Cristina Parreño Architecture, MIT
Photography by Luis Asin, courtesy of Cristina Parreño

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2015 HERE.

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