In The Space Between

Posted on August 10th, 2021 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Events, Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB

NADAAA recently had the privilege of collaborating with VLA Dance and their Director & Choreographer Victoria Awkward on the set design for their latest work ‘In The Space Between’. Through contemporary dance, the work “challenges audience members to explore uncomfortable spaces between”. Using our workshop NADLAB we were able to both fabricate and install the set pieces ourselves for the dance company at Boston Center for the Arts.

Dancers moved with, on, and around the sheet loops in a spirit of courageous multiplicity: pulling and stretching them, entwining their limbs and other body parts. At points, they had the sheets stand as barriers between them and other performers as all moved, being a literal space in between.

– Kathryn Boland, Dance Informa

Photos Courtesy of VLA DANCE

Lighting by Elmer Martinez

Photos by Melissa Blackall 

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Coming to your table in 2018! Stay tuned!

Posted on December 30th, 2017 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: NADLAB, Things We Like

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Between Industrial Production and Ergonomics

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by Lisa LaCharité

Posted under: construction, NADLAB, Things We Like

Part of our research examines the relationship between architectural conventions and their engagement with the body. The logic of industrial production permeates these conventions. As industrial production pushes for simplification, optimization, and an adherence to ‘machine’ protocols, the body demands accommodation, customization, and a figural adherence. The design of furniture consequently compromises the body more often than succumbing to costly craft. This furniture-scale intervention proposes a mediated balance between industrial production and its connection to the body. We follow an industrial-style logic for massing and detail assembly while leveraging the organic cabinetry details as an opportunity to better fit the hand and to aestheticize the plywood’s method of construction.

The object consists entirely of marine-grade Baltic birch plywood. We coated each piece with water-soluble polyurethane preserve its light color.

Wooden pegs and grooves connect the pieces to each other, allowing disassembly. While we milled pin holes on the faces of each piece, pin holes on the endgrains had to be hand-drilled with a custom jig.

CNC-milled cabinetry details aestheticize the plywood’s method of construction.

Prototypes test handle ergonomics.

We assembled groups of pieces in the lab and finished assembly on site.

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“Bringing 3D Printing In-House”

Posted on July 5th, 2016 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: NADLAB

Architect Magazine’s Lindsey Kratochwill offers tips for architecture firms looking to grow their shops and asked NADAAA’s shop director Ergys Hoxha and Nader for their insight.

“If something is over budget or unrealistic, [designers are] thought of as artists without a grip on reality. In this case, because one is able to connect the dots between the process of imagining something and the process of delivering it, it changes the perception of the actual role of the architect.”


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Posted on July 15th, 2015 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: NADLAB

NADAAA has designed a component-based all-purpose table that seats 5-10 people. Beyond dining, meeting, and social functions, it is also conceived as a work table, its central oculus serves as a structural grommet that allows for the passage of wiring and technical elements. The table’s light-weight profile is created through an aluminum and plywood composite structure. This light-weight design combined with notched connections allow it to be disassembled and reassembled easily — making it useful for flexible classrooms as well as for use in the home.

Available as a flat-pack package, the table can be ordered by emailing
Pricing on request. Delivery available.







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Catenary Compression: the Tensile Vault, reconsidered

Posted on July 8th, 2015 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB

Catenary Compression was developed as a research project, pairing up unlikely structural properties to work together for extraordinary circumstances. Working with light block construction that conventionally operates in compression; we set out to build a structural catenary that relieves the ground from any physical contact. A prototype was developed for the BSA-sponsored exhibit “Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building” as both a provocation and experiment.

final installation photos for blog 2

The aggregation is comprised of sixty individual carved and interlocking blocks that are CNC routed from polyurethane foam board to achieve the minimally required tolerances for tensile continuity. Numerous computer models analyzed the anticipated forces, and mockups were tested for loading and integrity.  Ultimately the puzzle-like pieces were conjoined by inverted ‘keystones’, working against gravity to deflect the tensile forces.

final installation photos for blog 3

Contrary to a dome construction, where the keystone serves as a crowning moment, here, a field of keystones connects the entire surface, each interlocked into its neighbors and all working in tandem to produce a single monolithic tensile surface.  In turn, the terminus of the catenary, its nadir, is characterized by an ocular void acting as a tensile ring. The underbelly of the vault displays the continuity of the tensile surface, while the top surface remains articulated, as its carvings help to offset the necessary tolerances needed to overcome misalignments between blocks, a rustication of sorts.

final installation photos for blog 4

The installation will be on view at the BSA Space through September.

final installation photos for blog 5


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Posted on June 17th, 2015 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: Events, Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB


Bigger than a Breadbox / Smaller than a Building is opening tonight at the BSA Space on Congress Street. Come join us at 6pm for the opening reception and see our installation Catenary Compression.





Coming: the Compressive Catenary

Posted on June 14th, 2015 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: construction, Installations + Exhibitions, NADLAB

to the BSA space, this week


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Study Table Mock-up

Posted on November 13th, 2014 by pmacdowell

Posted under: construction, NADLAB

Down in our shop, work has begun on a custom table made of aluminum and anigre-faced plywood. The client commissioned us to design a table where their family of five could work and study together. The pinwheel form provides each user with a dedicated space and routes computer cables through an opening at the center. The pieces of the table flat-pack for easy shipping and are bolted together with specialized custom fasteners.

table2Exploded Axonometric drawing showing the assembly logic of the table.

table3A mock-up was built to evaluate the material choices and test the custom fasteners.

tableMockup01Waterjet-cut 6061 Aluminum features a non-directional satin finish. CNC-cut Plywood with an Apple-ply core is faced with White Anigre.

tableMockup02The wood and aluminum are laminated together with Marine Epoxy.

tableMockup03Tight tolerances are critical for the precision attachments.

table1Detail Axonometric Section through the Leg / Table-top connection.

tableMockup09The unique aluminum fasteners are machined by hand in our shop.








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DFALD Hyperbolic Paraboloid Ceiling Mockup #2 – Radiant Panels

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by tberesford

Posted under: _Daniels Building, construction, NADLAB

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A year ago, NADAAA blogged about our hyperbolic paraboloid ceiling mock-up, which will be featured above the third floor design studio at the new Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.  Since that time, the client has charged us with an additional mandate:  to reduce projected mechanical energy through the incorporation of radiant mechanical systems throughout the building.  This mandate presented a unique challenge for our feature ceiling:  radiant chilled panels are almost always flat, where our design distinguishes itself through a subtle ruled curvature.

Radiant panels are widely used in Europe, but are less common in North America.  Nevertheless, we corresponded with several vendors, all of whom were enthusiastic about helping us resolve this technical hurdle.  This fall, we provided space and support to enable Twa Panel to replicate our mockup, only this time using a new graphite-core radiant panel product with embedded copper hydronic tubing, provided by SGL Group.  Twa Panel gambled that the graphite panel and tubes would be flexible enough to conform to the gradual curvature, which is smaller in degree (approx. 550″ radius) than it appears when viewed in composite across a surface.  The mock-up proved successful, as the panels twisted with relative ease:


Rendering of the Level 03 Design Studio feature ceiling at the new Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto


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HyPar Mockup No.2: 2’x8′ radiant graphite-core panels on 1/4″ plywood strapping, over light gauge stud backup framing. NADAAA’s original mockup is seen beyond.


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In this image, the radiant graphite panels are mudded and taped against a perimeter of conventional 1/2″ thick gypsum board, ready for a standard paint finish.


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This image shows the backside (top) of the mockup, where copper leaders penetrate the backside of the panels for connection to hydronic tube supply/return connections.


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