vertu constellation T installation by ma yansong
vertu constellation T installation by ma yansong vertu constellation T installation by ma yansong
oct 19, 2011

vertu constellation T installation by ma yansong

the installation designed by ma yansong for the vertu ‘constellation T’ image © designboom

on tuesday, october 18th, luxury phone makers vertu celebrated the release of their ‘constellation T‘ touchscreen phone with a special installation throughout the palazzo serbelloni in milan, italy. the company commissioned chinese architect ma yansong of MAD architects to create a pavilion for the space, wherein the phones themselves were on exhibition alongside special videos and touchscreen demonstrations.

here situated in the opening courtyard of the building– one of milan’s most admired examples of neoclassical architecture– the pavilion itself is designed to be installed for the inauguration of the ‘constellation T’ at cities across the globe, from london to dubai to china. as a result, it needed to be transportable, which ma yasong accomplished by creating a basic dome-like skeleton to which the ‘spikes’– each independent units– are attached. lightweight by architectural standards, the entire pavilion represents seven to eight tons of steel, all of which comes disassembled, packaged into wooden crates, and shipped off to the next destination after a few days.

the concept of the installation is of a meteor crashing to earth, bringing with it new energy as it engages in conversation with the existing space. by touching on the dynamic between the old and the new, the pavilion reflects the nature of the vertu concept, which seeks to combine the traditions of artisan craftsmanship with the advances and possibilities of technology.

general view of the courtyard and installation, at the launch of the vertu ‘constellation T” at palazzo serbelloni, milan, italy photo by dave benett/getty images

entry into the courtyard, with a ‘black carpet’ leading to the pavilion image © designboom

architect ma yansong portrait © designboom

ma yansong elaborates on the concept behind the pavilion design

image © designboom

ma yansong discusses the choice of installation site, as well as the dynamic that is created between the existing space and the pavilion:

‘we choose a place that is very symbolic, very representative of different cultures. for example in shanghai, we chose a location that used to be industrial, which I found interesting. because if something crashed to the land, it can land anywhere. so [the choice of location should be] something that feels a bit accidental. also when you look at the pavilion design, it has these randomly organized spikes– they’re all different shapes, different lengths and organized in a very random way– so you can feel the energy as something organic.

‘[for the milan event] it’s interesting to have this traditional courtyard, where [the installation] looks very out of place or different… I think that can bring a little surprise to visitors.‘

interior view of the pavilion, with the polished surfaces reflecting incoming sunlight image © designboom

view of the ‘constellation T’ on exhibition in ma yansong’s pavilion image © designboom

view from the entry of the palazzo serbelloni image © designboom

the installation by night photo by dave benett/getty images

entry into the courtyard by night photo by dave benett/getty images

rendering of ma yansong’s pavilion for the public announcement of the vertu ‘constellation’ touchphone, the installation departs from the image of a meteor crashing into earth.

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