Brigitte D'Annibale adds oculus to plywood-clad house for Malibu installation

A plywood building on a construction site with white domes in front

A plywood-clad building with an oculus in its roof provides space for the B=f(P, E) installation by American interdisciplinary artist Brigitte D’Annibale, located on the Point Dume promontory in Malibu, California.

Situated on an acre of vacated construction land, D’Annibale transformed the former residence and stripped back its materials to provide the setting for her designs.

A plywood building on a construction site with white domes in front
Distressed plywood covers the building’s exterior

D’Annibale added installation pieces that the artist said reference cycles of nature and human interaction by “bringing together materials and processes to create a place for contemplation, immersion, and connection”.

These were placed both inside and outside of the building.

A room with an oculus in the ceiling and floor with hanging spheres
Orbs hang from the oculus in the ceiling

Around 1,500 square feet (139 square metres) of reclaimed plywood was distressed by D’Annibale and used to cover the front elevation of the building.

At the building’s entrance is an installation made from repurposed materials titled Shedding Layers of Blindness – a series of white domes on wooden pallets on the empty land in front of the building.

Inside the building, a circular opening in the roof titled The Oculus lets light into the space.

Concrete basement with a conversation pit and a circular opening in the ceiling with hanging orbs
A conversation pit was added in the basement

Hanging from The Oculus is a series of spheres made up of letters carved from teak, which were covered in a blend of plaster and concrete.

The combination of letters into spherical shapes creates illegible words that “call to mind the unconscious nature of how individuals communicate with one another,” according to the artist.

A circular opening in the floor below The Oculus opens to a concrete basement, which features circular bench seating designed to be used as a conversation pit.

Elsewhere in the building is the installation Pigs in Zen – a room with a table set with 12 papier-mache bowls covered in cement, which D’Annibale created to suggest a communal experience where people share food and conversation.

A white rectangular room with a vaulted ceiling and large dining table at the centre
A twisting root suspended over the table casts shadows on the walls

The table was made from beams salvaged from the building. Hanging above the table is a twisting structure taken from roots growing around a tree trunk.

According to D’Annibale, the roots suffocate the tree and represent her commitment to “articulating and honouring the perpetual nature of life and death”.

Circular opening an a ceiling with spheres hanging over a conversation pit
The artist added reference to nature throughout the project

A rectangular opening in the ceiling was created to expose the vaulted roof structure. This nods to temple buildings and lets light into the space, casting patterns of shadows on the walls through the hanging root.

The artist added olive trees and floral planting to the site’s landscaping along a pathway that leads to views of the nearby ocean.

A painting on a white wall covered in white fabric
The installation is located on a former construction site

Other pieces in the project include wall paintings made from dark-tinted mirrors and rope combined with wax and paint.

B=f(P, E) is open to visitors by invitation from February to June and from June onwards, the installation and collaborative projects taking place on the site will be open to the public.

Other installations recently featured on Dezeen include a fuel tank in Anartica that was transformed into the shape of a typical Ukrainian home and a collection of denim-clad furniture informed by the American dream.

The images are courtesy of Brigitte D’Annibale.

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