Art Work – Seoul Biennale for Groupwork architects

Art Work

Art Work by Amin Taha :




“Behind the Curtain Wall

A full scale section of an unbuilt opera house sited in Vilnius, Lithuania, illustrates the use of waste stone, a by-product of quarries, laminated for strength and double walled with insulation to act as thermal and weathering envelope. An AI self-learning software was used to locate the most efficient structural nodal points taking  loads from the interior to the façade line. In turn the software modulated both the depth between the twin walls and the laminated depths themselves, folding the overall enveloping form for rigidity and load transfer. Inherently, the laminated waste stone has a carbon footprint 90% lower than that of a steel frame with sub-structure, cladding and intermediate layers. Combined with a predominant cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam interior structure the overall carbon footprint was calculated negative, and by the same quantum as an equivalent opera house will have been positive had it used a combination of concrete and steel.


The unbuilt opera house is used as a model with other larger institutional structures as they are often excused for being carbon heavy. Yet, as we have demonstrate with residential apartment buildings, houses and offices it is possible not only make a building NetZeroCarbon, the current ambition for 2035, but actually -veCarbon. The overall implication is that we predominantly combine timber and stone with judicious use of other materials available for the purpose of beauty while achieving a -veCarbon footprint. Professor Thomas Crowther of ETH Zurich has demonstrated the forestation of both government and privately owned fallow land will, by mere planting, reduce atmospheric carbon levels to pre-industrial levels within 100 years. The potential to farm forests so that carbon is captured within the built environment allowing more forests to grow offers a cycle of carbon capture. Promoting, not a pessimistic outlook of reduced growth and expectation, but an incentivised optimism with the incidental by-product of lowered atmospheric carbon. The balance of negative footprints justifying the replacement of existing structures so that within 100 years not only have we reached pre-industrial levels of atmospheric carbon but provided buildings with far lower energy needs.”

Ultra High Performance Stone in this work :

UHPS products are evolving by expanding their range of reinforced stone, creating an insulating reinforcement exhibited as a prototype for the first time at the Seoul Biennale.
Driven by the design initiative of Amin Taha & Groupwork, the architects have used their imagination to produce a unique self-supporting wall module by including the insulation system within it.

Architects : Groupwork 

Amin’s iconic design regularly explore ways to express stones rich characters. Like the work done on Caroline Place staircase or on Clerkenwell Close facade, the application of this material always becomes a feature.

A continuous conversations with Ateliers Romeo, has generated strong positioning with regards to construction, art, sustainability as well as the technical characteristics and application constraints of the project (already essential topics to the studio’s philosophy).The use of offsite production and pre-assembly methods are inspired by timber technologies.

For the Seoul Biennale, Amin Taha will once again surprise with the use of a technology developed by Ateliers Romeo and apply timber technology principles to stone, breaking free from the limitations of usual stone panel construction.

Traditionally, the Seoul Biennale is formed by five sections, each with its own separate exhibition. This third edition will radically transform the organization of the SBAU to address as large an audience as possible, across all sectors of activity and ages. To achieve this, the SBAU 2021 will merge for the first time the Cities and Thematic exhibitions in a single main event located at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Marble : Saint Clair from Polycor

New structural insulation core made from 100% recycled products.

Core performance evaluation for datasheet : on going process