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Three Dimensional
                                            e y e   c a n d y

Winch Design  B-787 Dreamliner concept rendering

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Article by:  Melissa Tokoryama 
Dating all the way back to the prior mid-century, three-dimensional walls have been a thing – at least in the commercial architectural world. The post war era spawned its own era of modern culturalism and it extended to almost every facet of life – not the least of which was architectural style. After four long years of war, the world had something to celebrate. It was felt everywhere of course but quickly stirred a newfound playfulness and creativity among the architectural community – and soon the pillars of industry all wanted in on it – each seeking to have their corporate headquarters reflect a new air of modern sophistication. Three-dimensional wall sculptures and exterior building facades began showing up in cities and towns across American and Europe. Architects were collaborating with artists in an almost frenzied patronage to the public expression and proliferation of post-war modernity.

But public spaces is where the artform resided predominately, that is until the early 2000s. As the century turned, we began seeing modular wallscapes turn up in restaurants and smaller  commercial spaces. By then, 5-axis CNC machines were able to fabricate virtually anything a designer could model up in CAD, and at a fraction of the cost of hand fabricated art pieces, making it affordable for smaller environs. It was around the same time that such custom 3-dimensional walls and bulkheads began showing up in yachts. Yacht designers had found a new playground – and in many cases, the results were quite stunning - leaving their clients delighted and on the frontend of a new boast-worthy trend.

















As all designers know, custom yachts and VVIP aircraft are very closely connected in terms of emerging trends. But aircraft interiors almost always lag for obvious reasons. Constrained by far more stringent regulatory requirements, the infusion of innovative new design elements isn’t always a nimble enterprise. It takes will and it takes time. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long before three-dimensional wallscapes slowly began turning up in VVIP interiors and occasionally even top tier bizjets. Designers, completion centers and a handful of specialized vendors forged the will by finding ways to meet the regulatory demands and get them fabricated, certified and installed onto delivered aircraft. And the rest as they say, is history. Over the last decade or so, three-dimensional bulkheads, partition dividers, hallways etc. have indeed become a welcome new canvas for aviation interior designers – and the customers they serve.
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Sinot Yacht & Architecture Design
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"Textural shapes and repeating three-dimensional patterns are evocative and play with light in ways that a flat surface simply can't. They're 'candy' for the eyes."

-  Richard Roseman  RRAD Design

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Richard Roseman Airborne Design  B-787 concept rendering

In this article we’re going to take a look at some good examples of this growing trend. We’ll start by giving a peek at how some of the world’s top designers have infused three-dimensional wallscapes into their designs over recent years. We’ll follow up by discussing and showcasing a few of the bold fabrication groups that have stepped up to meet the challenge of bringing these artful applications to life – and the often difficult process of certifying them for install.

Pictured in the Interior image above.

Greenpoint Design - Annika Wicklund 

 

The venerable Greenpoint Technologies, in Bothell, WA has successfully completed and delivered more wide-body VVIP aircraft than any completion center in the US. And they also boast one of the most renown internal design departments anywhere, having amassed countless awards. We had an opportunity to catch up with Ms. Annika Wicklund, director of Greenpoint’s design team. She was kind enough to share the below images – each great examples of how they have created and integrated 3D wallscapes into several of their recent projects - each to the delight of their customers.

 

“In working the design of the aircraft interior, we often identify feature walls that that are intended to offer additional dimension and interest to the space” says Ms. Wicklund. “Sometimes these walls are bold statements. Other times we want them be subtle and introduce drama. In our 777X Lotus concept we created a lattice planter wall that was perimeter lit to emphasize the linear texture and add function to the space. A three-dimensional wall can also make our sometimes limited cabin spaces feel larger.  

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This example provided by Ms. Wicklund and the design team at Greenpoint shows off a unique example of three-dimensional partition design utilizing overlapping polished metal straps.  As the entry vestibule to the owner's bathroom, the left hand wall first affords relief from what can often feel like a closed off corridor. But it serves a dual objective in this case - making a very strong, linear architectural statement.

Greenpoint's team then finished the design by adding small planters of live rye grass in staggered fashion. The infusion of organic material over the permanence of metal, completes a wonderful and evocative contrast.

In this stunning example, the Greenpoint team created a circular "green" feature as the centerpiece for the aft wall in the primary lounge. The Asian motif is strengthened by the use of traditional wood verticals, immediately setting the quiet, minimalist tone for the interior.

 

Greenpoint Design are masters of textural surfaces, this being perhaps one of the best examples of three-dimensional treatments on major separating bulkheads. 

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This depiction of a lounge and adjacent hallway is striking to say the least, featuring OLED window walls that can render virtually anything the owners choose while in flight.

But for me, the star of the show here is the ceiling, which features an inverted view of the water's surface as if swimming beneath it.

The team didn't tell us if the tranquil 'sound' of burbling water comes with. . . . but one can almost hear it anyway!

Pierrejean Studios (Pierrejean Vision - Paris)
 

 

Pierrejean Studios is certainly one of the one of the most well-known independent studios in the world. Spanning more than three decades they have built a name for creating stunning VVIP aircraft interiors for clients around the world. Below is one example of how the studio utilized a three dimensional wave design to add interest to the bulkhead of a new Airbus A-220 project.

 

Jacques Pierrejean and his studio have long been influential in setting trends that are recognized globally. His use of three-dimensional wallscapes are quite prevalent in almost all of his VVIP aircraft projects in recent years. As with most designers, they represent both a welcome departure from old paradigms and a quite joyful new way of infusing more visual interests. When asked about his use of 3D wallscapes, Jacque Pierrejean responded in his usual rhapsodic way...

 

“In utilizing 3D walls we play with the perception of space, play with light, upgrade the room’s architecture, enhance the feel of cocooning, of sound proofing – and the mixing of textures.”

 

As characterized in the examples here, PJV's use of three-dimensional walls are wide and varied but always inspiring – a direct reflection of his unique, playful and very well established aesthetic.   

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The vertical wave patterns (above & below) provide a playful yet subtle departure from the typical solid veneer bulkhead. The perimeter of light further accentuates the patterns' geometry, adding 'life' to both spaces.

The design to the left is obviously a much bolder statement designed to allow both natural and artificial light to play on the alternating series of convexed and concaved surfaces.

In both cases, stimulating interest is immediately offered to the passengers as they move about the cabin.

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Winch Design (London, UK)

 

Andrew Winch, the firm’s founder, cut his teeth in the yachting world, having signed his name to some of the largest and most well-known yachts in the past three decades. As we’ve discussed, three-dimensional wallscapes began showing up in this sector long before aircraft – so it was a quite natural carry-over for his firm as they moved into VVIP aircraft. In fact it’s hard to find an example of Winch’s work in VVIP where 3D walls or surfaces haven’t been utilized.

 

And in usual Winch fashion, they have done a beautiful job in showcasing these treatments in ways that never overpower but rather support the overall design aesthetic. WD is also one of the leaders in exploring new materials, often transitioning from translucents to solids and many combinations thereof. Winch is considered one of the masters of modern, yet comfortable design. Almost every design they turn out has a modern beautiful aesthetic while still letting the passenger feel as though they are stepping into their living room at home. The use of three dimensional walls obviously plays an important role for Winch in maintaining that reputation.

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In the example above, Winch's team turns an otherwise ordinary door into a spectacular design statement. Soft gold surface developments and radiating spokes create not only a center piece, but an immediate focal point for the room.

 

In the image to the right,  Winch Design's Aviation team utilized a dramatic 3D wall treatment in order to frame the principal's chair. The massive wood 'picture frame' border is a carry over of the other deep walnut accents in the room. The more subtle interior portion mimics the palette of the chair's lumbar and headrest while offering a

delicate vertical wave pattern.

 

But regardless how one cares to describe it,

it provides a powerful statement.

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Pictured also on the header of this article, the image here reflects a very successful attempt at keeping a passageway from feeling closed in. Not only is it rear "lit" with a pleasing aqua color, but it's an interesting design that takes an otherwise very utilitarian space boring to awesome!

The team at Winch Design are very adept at using 3D waalscapes - both to their own pedigree advantage and to that of their delighted recipients - the customers.

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Richard Roseman Airborne Design (formally RWR Designs)

 

Another big fan of 3-Dimensional wallscapes is the US based studio, Richard Roseman Airborne Design (formerly RWR Designs). The firm’s director of design is Joseph Burns, a man known for his attention to details and aesthetics, believes VVIP aircraft (as opposed to bizjets) afford a great, and scale appropriate, opportunity for 3D wall treatments.

 

“It’s the scale” says Burns. “It’s very tricky to introduce 3D bulkheads into bizjets. They can get wonky in a hurry. But within a VVIP, and particularly a wide-body, the scale of the spaces are akin to that of homes or apartments and almost beg for something more than your typical mirror-finished wood veneer. They’re fun for us and fun for our customers.”

 

Says the firm’s director, Richard Roseman, “We generally favor repeating geometric shapes for the design of walls and partitions – then play with unique materials to complete the aesthetic. It then becomes a matter of how they’re lit. Light play on the repeating shapes is everything in bringing them to life.”

Burns adds that reflectivity of certain surfaces can also create "movement" as you walk through the cabin, all adding to the overall visual effect of a 3D wallscape.

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In the example left, RRAD was asked to create a souji screen effect in separating the dining / conference from the LHS side passageway. "Obviously paper was out", say Burns, "so we used silk stiffened with a synthetic starch and then debossed in order to form the geometric design. For preservation of the panel, it was laminated on the hallway side with a polycarbonate panel.

The translucency yielded a great effect by allowing light from the window-wall beyond and of course movement of passengers, but still affording privacy and a surface that could be lit from the dining side, yielding more controllable effects.
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In the RHS example left, RRAD wanted to infuse some interest into the curved partition separating the lounge shown from the one immediately aft. Small tiles of satin finished smoked nickel were used to create a partially reflective wall that would provide visual movement as passengers moved about.

The blue hue is provided by rear-lit LED panels, completing the effect and following the line of the sofa below.

Roseman adds that one of his "go to" passions within almost any design, is to place very warm tones (which promote a secure and calming feeling) in contrasting juxtaposition to very cool tones. "It's always stimulating to the senses" he asserts.
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In the example left, the customer wanted a single lounge that extended all the way from the galley to the aft cabin - but wanted something "special and modern" for the aft bulkhead.

Several concept designs were developed - but in the end, this bold 3D geometric pattern was settled on.

ISays Burns. . . "As with most all 3D walls, it was a really great yield in the light play it afforded - not only from interior light but from the cooler outside light" [via the G-650 ER's large oval windows.]

Edese Doret Industrial Design (New York)

 

Three-dimensional wallscapes are certainly no stranger to Edese Doret. It is an almost common thread in all his work over the last decade or so, and can be found across a range of aircraft types, spaces and surfaces entrusted to the firm by its clients. EDID has even utilized "green wallscapes" (live plants) - which is unquestionably a bold move in aircraft - but altogether mesmerizing in the hands of a good designer.

The below is what Kirby Harrison wrote about Edese's "Living Wall" in AIN Online (October, 2011)

The idea of a “living wall” in a business jet cabin was something designer Edese Doret says he had been thinking about for more than a year. After running the idea by a designated engineering representative (DER) and several engineers, he suggested it to a client, and he said, “he loved it.” So New York-based Edese Doret Industrial Design was off and running. The end result is four Living Walls to built into a privately owned Boeing 787-9– one wall each in the stateroom, the passageway, the lavatory and the lounge. Each wall is completely covered, end-to-end and top-to-bottom, with ferns; all evergreen variants that do not shed their leaves, do not attract insects and are known for their non-allergenic properties. Water and plant food are provided through an irrigation system, for which Doret may apply for a patent. Sunlight is provided through a series of mirrors that channel light from the cabin windows and supplemented by artificial light, both of which can be blocked temporarily. Another special requirement is for a gardener who can come in periodically and give the walls a nice trim.

So, I think we can all agree that Edese is certainly not timid when it comes to creating very three-dimensional walls - and very special ones at that.

Edese couldn't be reached for comment regarding this article - but suffice to say, "a picture is woth a thousand words. Below are several examples of how Edese and his firm have and continue to stretch the bounds and application of 3D wallscapes. 

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Sufficed to say, there are other well-known aviation interior designers that also utilize 3-dimensional walls and partitions within their designs. But due to length, we're weren't able to include every studio this time around. The take-away however is that it's unquestionably a trend - and likely one that will continue.

 

But designing these wonderful elements is only one part of the equation. Let's now take a look at some of the companies out there that are fabricating and certifying these highly custom 'one-off' pieces.

                                                 Techno-Jormac  Aerospace (Dallas /Miami - US)

 

 

 

Techno Aerospace was one of the first companies anywhere to create a completely dedicated division for 3-dimensional wall treatments in aircraft.  To date, most of that work has been in the Super-First Class commercial space - and most of that involving pre-fabricated coverings from their Styllos division. But with their acquisition of Jormac Aerospace in 2018, their capability for more elaborate 3D wallscapes, was ramped up exponentially. According to Paul Zappia, (the company's VP of Marketing), "there is virtually no limit to the kinds of requirements we can respond to, in this area of customized interior components." 

For more on Techno-Jormac's capabilities or to contact them:  Paul.Zappia@technoaerospace.com

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                                                 FAIN Models (Bedford, Tx - US)

 

 

 

To almost anyone involved in VVIP, the name FAIN will be instantly recognizable. Jerry Fain and his seasoned company, cut their teeth on the early Brunei programs back in the 90's meeting extremely difficult fabrication requirements  - and have continued down that path ever since.  Fain is known for their soup to nuts capabilities including machine design, engineering, fabrication & certification of almost anything to be installed in an aircraft's interior. Their custom fabrications range from aesthetic to functional and every combination thereof. Sophisticated 3D custom wall treatments are precisely the sort of projects the Fain team excels at and are known for.

The For more on FAIN Model's capabilities or to contact them:   jerry@fain.com

                                                 F-LIST  (Austria, Germany, US, UAE, Brazil)

 

 

 

Austria based F-List is a highly diversified aircraft interior component manufacturer - with a global footprint. They are also a world leader in high-level engineering, fabrication and certification of custom monuments for both OEMs and completion facilities. Although they do not have a dedicated division for 3D wallscapes, their depth of capability makes them an excellent option for quoting such requirements. F-List is also a company extremely versed in materials technology, therefore adding to their expertise and abilities in meeting aesthetic requirements with alternative materials.

The For more on F-LIST's capabilities or to contact them:  sales@f-list.at       https://f-list.at

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                                                 FAIN Models (San Antonio, Tx - US)

 

 

 

JBRND (Jeff Bonner Research & Development) have been around since 1991, and in that span, have grown steadily - adding to their broad range of capabilities each year. JBRND heavily leverages their engineering background - then developing their products by utilizing an extensive in-house manufacturing capability. The company has developed custom interior products for companies and programs on every continent. According to Ed Harris, (the company's VP of Sales & Marketing). their first certified fabrication of a custom 3D wall sculpture was for Gore Design & Completions (later GDC). The project was a great success he claims, and is "exactly the kind of customized requirements we embrace."

The For more on JBRND's capabilities or to contact them: eharris@jbrnd.com   

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                                                 INAIRVATION (Thomasberg, Austria)

 

 

The name implies exactly what it sounds like, a company steeped in the innovation of products that are airborne. This European aerospace group is heavily involved in the development and certification of unique products for aircraft interiors, both commercial and private. Inairvation also entered into a joint-venture with F-List a few years ago, bringing even more developmental horsepower to their customers. As with F-List, IAV does not operate a dedicated division for custom 3D wallscapes - although they have certainly fabricated such decorative elements and their capability well meets any such level of customized interior components.

The For more on INAIRVATION's capabilites or to contact them: http://inairvation.aero  

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                                                 KALOGRIDIS INTERATIONAL - Deconel (Dallas, Tx - US)

 

 

Kalogridis International began developing Deconel in 2003. Deconel’s patented 3D decorative surface coverings are non-metallic and heat and flame resistant and provide designers a new level of personal expression and creativity in design while simultaneously delivering superior performance and technical innovation. Deconel surface coverings are applied to bulkheads, ceiling and wall panels, partitions, galley structures, and for use in making large cabinet and cabin stowage compartments of aircrafts, boats, and trains and in homes, restaurants, hotels and hospitality centers.

The For more on DECONEL's capabilites or to contact them: rjones@kalogridis.com

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NOTE:  The above companies represent the resources we uncovered for this article - but do not necessarily comprise all the supplier groups involved in or having had experience in the creation of customized wall treatments. If the above are not able to respond to your requirements, JCF is happy to help you source additional fabrication groups that can help.

End article

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