The team at Architecture Research Office has long been fascinated with the patterning and overlapping of exterior siding and cladding. From roofing to shingles, the play of light and shadow throughout the day across these surfaces has inspired the team on a myriad of projects and architectural designs.
With the ARO Shingle collection of acoustic wall systems, the team has brought these dynamic designs inside, recreating the overlapping patterns with soft, wool felt panels that install in continuous patterns that play with light and shadow in the same way these exterior applications do, all while softening sound and bringing a softness to the space.
The team walks us through the evolution of this concept, the array of translations this collection presents, and other projects they’ve tackled that bring this same aesthetic and continuous patterning, including some recent architectural builds that spotlight their exploration into cladding and shingled facades.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
Each of the ARO Shingle designs stems from our exploration of exterior cladding materials. We’ve long been interested in the overlapping, repeating pattern of shingles. In exterior cladding applications, like the Corten shingles on our Applied Math Building at Brown University (right) or the shingles on the facade of our design of a Chicken Coop (below), the overlap is a waterproofing strategy. ARO Shingle draws formal inspiration from this pattern as well as practical application, mimicking how exterior shingles attach to walls.
What kind of feeling to want these designs to bring to a space?
ARO Shingle offers material warmth and acoustic enhancement, with pattern and color options that visually stimulate spaces.
“Each of the ARO Shingle designs stems from our exploration of exterior cladding materials. We’ve long been interested in the overlapping, repeating pattern of shingles.”
Can you speak a bit about how this collection seeks to bring the outside in?
The depth and pattern of the overlapping shingles allow for the movement of light and shadow across the product, animating and activating a space throughout the day.
In what kind of spaces do you envision this collection?
The dynamic visual interest and acoustic comfort of ARO Shingle are ideal for all types of spaces – especially places for learning, working, engaging, and collaborating.
Are you working with any other natural materials that you find exciting?
An inventive approach to materials, from construction systems to finishes, is our passion and expertise. Recently, we’ve been excited to design two mass timber buildings – Milgard Hall at the University of Washington Tacoma, which opened in January, and the new Frederic Church Center for Art and Landscape, which begins construction at Olana State Historic Site this spring. In both projects, timber is a sustainability and design strategy in response to the site’s natural and historical context.
Are there any you’re curious to work with in the future?
We are looking forward to exploring the acoustic potential of other natural and reclaimed materials with Spinneybeck | FilzFelt.
“ARO Shingle offers material warmth and acoustic enhancement, with pattern and color options that visually stimulate spaces.”
What new projects are on the horizon? What are you excited to work on in the year ahead?
ARO is celebrating thirty years, and our office is moving to a new space in Downtown Brooklyn, for which we are targeting LEED Platinum and WELL certifications. The space features minimal walls, mineral-based paint, reclaimed wood, and permanent interior air quality monitors, reflecting our holistic approach to sustainability and healthy materials. We’ve been particularly excited to weave in products from the ARO Collection throughout the project to add color, warmth, and enriched acoustics to our workplace.
We are also looking forward to breaking ground on the new Education and Welcome Center at The Green-Wood Cemetery, which will strengthen the visitor’s experience of the Brooklyn institution as a cultural destination for art, history, and nature. In addition, custom glazed terra cotta cladding will create a dynamic, highly efficient facade and materially reference the brownstone of the cemetery’s historic arched entry.
About Architecture Research Office
Founded in 1993, Architecture Research Office has earned a reputation for elegant, innovative and imaginative architecture born out of relentless exploration and engagement. Through investigation, analysis, and testing, ARO creates designs that unite the conceptual and the pragmatic within a strong, compelling vision. This research-driven process is led principals Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao, and Adam Yarinsky and has enabled the firm to operate on a wide variety of projects spanning strategic planning, architecture and urban design, and to craft elegant solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
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