The making of the Iskra Park latticework

Overview• Process

Receiving the task: to develop illustration in the style of the 1930s industrialization era to be put on decorative latticework for ten buildings of a residential complex. Looking at what was suggested by architects before us.

Artemy announces the project in his blog and we get excited about the responsibility.

The task is wonderful! Studying art, fabrics and ornaments of the period. Two directions are born. The first one is about symmetry, Stalin’s Empire style.

The second one is all about asymmetry and the origins of the Russian Avant-garde and agitational fabrics.

Getting the idea to disperse the themed patterns on the façade with additional simple ones, to make them read like a song with a chorus: accents, then rest. Sketching additional patterns with stars and sparks for both directions.

Breaking down one of the sketches into tones to try to recreate the drawing with perforation. Keeping in mind the proportion of filled and empty areas: according to the specification, over 60% of the area should be empty.

The client chooses the first approach and sets a theme for each building.

Each of these themes would have been be a perfect fit for the Avant-garde style, but how do we design them in symmetry? We can’t ask anyone for help, this makes us panic. On the other hand, it also makes the task more interesting.

Sketching a couple of floral themes to bring some diversity to technology.

Next is space (the client asks to use the 1930s style to show space, aviation and the oil industry) and aviation. Ships and locomotives.

It takes several attempts to draw space before the ideal design is born.

We also try to use Russian ballet as one of the themes, but the idea of having various body parts on a lattice does not excite us.

At a preliminary viewing the client discards the themes of corn and winemaking in favor of the oil and nuclear industries. Wow. Nothing we can do, though.

Choosing stars and two types of sparks, crystals and fireworks, for the additional patterns.

Finding a pair for each theme:

oil industry—fireworks;
shipbuilding—star;
agriculture—fireworks;
nuclear industry—crystal.

Everything looks OK. Starting the long process of vector drawing to make sure we can edit outline widths later, this will allow us to achieve the required empty area percentage in the lattices.

Sending in two drawings to create prototypes.

Looks beautiful. The preliminary results provide much needed inspiration to break the monotony of vector drawing.

Once all the drawings are finished, it is time to adjust patterns to fit various lattice sizes: it is important to frame the illustration nicely, remain within the target empty area percentage and make sure the outline width is not less than the minimal level. Individual parameters are created for each building as well as for internal and external sides of each building. The final list is endless.

Arming ourselves with patience and getting to work. Simultaneously fixing small errors and rounding sharp corners so no one gets hurt.

290 lattices are ready.

At the end we are asked to break the long lattices into segments as metal sheets are short and long lattices require additional fastening.