Built, Elena Manferdini


Alumni Elena Manferdini (M.Arch. II, 2000) completes “Nembi” a permanent public project for the entry way of the Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center, a full service facility accommodating families and children in South Los Angeles. The project is part of the Civic Projects promoted by LA County Art Commission.

“Nembi” (Italian for Clouds) has been designed with the intent to create a strong relationship with the iconic green color bands of the Health Center concrete façade. The artwork wraps the concrete wall at the right of the ramp, folds back to occupy the ceiling above it and finally folds onto the front façade, where it connects with the existing green strips on the building elevation. Specific areas of the artwork have been perforated to filter the light coming from the existing light fixtures in the ceiling above the main hospital entry gate.

The figural geometry of the clouds emerges from a series of bi-dimensional drawings produced by the iterative use of a script. This algorithm traces arcs of variable radii linking them together in a continuous composition of variable scales and connections.

The term Nembi has been chosen because the ensemble of lines has the ephemeral qualities of clouds in the sky. This word reflects on the act of 'looking up' and hints to the idea that Hubert Humphrey is a place of care and hope. On the other hand the figural geometry of the rainbow stripes emerges from a close reading of the existing building and its iconic stripes that characterize the concrete façade.