Every child has daydreamed of sitting inside or on top of a white puffy cloud. As children, we imagined them to be more like fluffy hovering wads of white cotton candy that were dense and thick enough to hold us and all our friends inside or on top of them but light enough to stay floating in the sky. The day we heard in science class that we’d fall right through a cloud if we tried to sit in or on top of them one was perhaps the day these daydreams of a cotton candy castle ended. But today, Valencia-based architectural venture, Clap Studio has designed Cumulus, an art installation that brings those dreams of sitting inside clouds back to life.

About the Studio

“We are a creative studio focused on the design of experiences through interiors, products, and artistic installations. There are three keywords that represent our work: simplicity, elegance, and playfulness.” 

Clap Studio is a design practice founded in the year 2017 and based in Valencia (Spain). The studio takes up projects worldwide. The new venture is focused on the design of experiences through interior design, product design, and art installations. The studio is formed by Jordi Iranzo and Angela Montagud, creative director and technical architect respectively. 

Jordi and Angela are also the founders of the minimalist design magazine More with less. “We also run More with less, a digital gallery featuring architecture and design projects with a clear philosophy: more with less. Our goal is to showcase the best in design and architecture so every creative mind can find inspiration,” the founders stated.

Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet1
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio
Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet2
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio
Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet3
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio

They Decontextualize Objects | Cumulus

The goal of the studio in every project it takes up is to tell a story that moves the visitor. The creative process of Clap Studio always starts with a concept. They decontextualize buildings, objects, landscape, landscapes, and moments from daily life to visualize and create interiors, products, and installations. 

The Sea, a temporary modular installation for a TV studio that was informed by the sea and made from gridded mesh boxes and illuminated spheres, a Hong-Kong based fashion store-cum-café made from stacked terracotta display plinths and celestial aluminum partitions, and a playful children’s shoe shop featuring arch-shaped cutouts and primary colors on a street corner in Valencia, are amongst Clap’s other creations.

Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet4
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio
Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet5
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio

A Parasite in the Sky

Inspired by the peace and tranquility of watching clouds roll over, Cumulus was designed to be a muted, soothing hub. 

“A cloud is a parasite in the sky. Such is the concept for Cumulus, an installation to reach a state of calm. With a simple and regular shape, the interaction of the piece with the user involves a variation in its form thanks to the elasticity of the fabric covering the structure. Inside the cloud, the body seems to gravitate with a feeling of lightness, it is the place where calm reigns. Through the fabric, you get to see only the shadows of what is outside and the sounds aren’t clear enough to perceive their origin. Calm reigns,” stated the Valencia-based studio.

Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet6
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio
Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet7
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio

The Design of Cumulus

Pulled taut around structural steel beams that form a spherical shape like a Chinese lantern, the elastic fabric is similar to that found on trampolines, Cumulus is tensile and springy. Partly enclosed, Cumulus features a circular opening that grants entry and exit to the installation with an attachable net that props guests in the installation’s center. 

In the interiors, the globe of bright white fabric evokes the feeling of being suspended inside a puffy white cloud. Three hanging light fixtures further dramatize the interiors and brighten it to enhance the installation’s relaxing ambiance, mixing warm fluorescent lights with the optic brightness of the elastic fabric. Guests can cozy into the corners of the art installation to recline deeply against the Cumulus’s sidewalls. 

Opening up to the sky above, a circular skylight reveals views of actual clouds. Shadows beautifully dance into the interiors, thanks to the elastic fabric’s membrane-like skin.

Cumulus, Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet8
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio
Inspired by the clouds, this art installation created by Clap Studio sheet9
Cumulus by Clap Credits: Clap Studio

Moments of Respite 

Speaking on the design of the art installation, the design team at Clap Studio notes that: “Inside the cloud, the body seems to gravitate with a feeling of lightness, it is the place where calm reigns. Through the fabric, you get to see only the shadows of what is outside and the sounds aren’t clear enough to perceive their origin.” 

Amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life, at times it might feel like the feeling of calm is a depleted resource. Installations like Clap Studio’s Cumulus help to make moments of respite much more accessible, taking us back to the magic we felt when we thought it was possible to build our very own cloud castle.

Author

Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.

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