This Firm Designed Vincent Van Gogh's Face — with Bricks!

Posted by Leslie Briggs on 12/23/21 11:00 AM  |  3 min read time
Leslie Briggs
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Vincent van Gogh, born March 30, 1853, would be 167 years old if he were alive today. The artist has inspired many to create art of their own, including Dutch firm [delacourt][vanbeek], who recently recreated Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat on a courtyard in Zundert, the Netherlands. The brick mosaic now lives outside of the Van Gogh House where Van Gogh was born.

Artistic Design with Marionette

Among hundreds of paintings in his unique strong-brush style, Van Gogh is known for more than 40 self-portraits from various periods of his life, each offering a glimpse into the artist’s head at the time of its creation. One need only recall his self-portrait following his lost ear to recognize the intimacy that comes with a Van Gogh portrait.

[Delacourt][vanbeek] wanted the brickwork to blend with the rest of the landscape, so they decided on a herringbone pattern, which made it challenging to produce an intricate portrait — “The stones are laid perpendicularly to one another. That makes it quite a puzzle,” said co-founder Ton van Beek. “How can you convert such an image into a herringbone pattern?”

“That is exactly where Marionette comes into the picture,” he said. “It allows you to enter various parameters. This results in a kind of visual script that translates those parameters into new data.” They customized the script to recreate the Van Gogh image with their parameters, and the software was able to produce an accurate recreation of the artist.

VanGogh1Image courtesy of [delacourt][vanbeek].

Meet the Artists

[Delacourt][vanbeek] is a firm from the Netherlands that specializes in architecture. Much of their work concerns a certain blending of natural and built environment; their co-founder, Ton van Beek, specializes in incorporating landscape architecture to the firm’s design work.

Van Beek works with co-founder Pieter Delacourt to form an office that is sophisticated in the areas of landscape architecture, urban architecture, and construction implementation. They boast a strong understanding of an entire design process — from conceptual design to coordinated BIM to construction processes.

Learn more about the Algorithms-aided Design tool Marionette.

For this project, construction was simple thanks to the data output from the Marionette script. The construction team laid down a sheet over the courtyard with the brick pattern printed on it and each tile was numbered to correspond to one of four brick pallets. This paint-by-numbers-like method allowed the construction team to seamlessly recreate Van Gogh’s self-portrait.

“The great thing about Vectorworks is that Marionette complements the entire range of Vectorworks tools,” said Van Beek. “We don’t need a separate program to carry out the operation, because Vectorworks presents the nodes in a very visual way, as simple blocks that can be connected to each other. This way, you can make your own scripting without needing extensive knowledge of scripting or programming.”

Learn more about [delacourt][vanbeek] in this video:

Topics: BIM (Architecture), Tech Tips and Workflows, BIM (Landscape)

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