Santa Monica Cradle: Design and Assembly

In this project by Ball-Nogues Studio I used a script similar to the sphere packing script I posted earlier. The sculpture is made of about three hundred and fifty marine grade stainless steel balls of three sizes – 300mm, 400mm and 500mm – connected to a stainless steel bracket with cable. The bracket is mounted to the concrete shear wall of a parking structure in Downtown Santa Monica.

The spheres were arranged on a CNC routered plywood form-work supported by modular aluminium trusses and skinned with two layers of 1/4″ lauan to form a smooth surface.  This surface had been modelled parametrically to generate a number of design options, one of which was selected and further refined manually. The stainless steel spheres were arranged on this surface using a 3D Rhino model created using a sphere packing script as a guide.  The balls were welded together at their points of tangency using folded stainless steel sheet connectors.  Stainless steel cables were then attached to each ball. The following slide show documents the construction process (Photographs courtesy Ball-Nogues Studio) :

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4 thoughts on “Santa Monica Cradle: Design and Assembly

  1. This looks GREAT! But tell me, is it some sort of a cantilevered support because I can only see cables pulling on from one side. Also, were all the stainless steel connectors unique or is there a pattern in how they connect three sizes of balls? [Sorry for my layman questions, but I’ll learn soon to catch up! ]

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