Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Flockr Pavilion in Beijing, China by SO-IL Architect
May 15th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Idenburg Liu (SO – IL), winner of the 2010 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, has opened two temporary structures in Beijing and New York. SO-IL’s ”Flockr” pavilion serves as the central hub for “Get It Louder,” a biannual media and arts event taking place in Beijing through October 10th and in Shanghai October 22nd to November 7th. In New York, SO – IL was one of the winners of Sukkah City, a competition to design a small ritual shelter traditionally associated with the Jewish holiday Sukkot. SO-IL’s entry “In Tension” was displayed on Union Square in Manhattan on September 19th and 20th, and the project will be featured at the Center for Jewish History in New York until October 15th.
“We believe the importance of ephemeral architecture will increase in this prolonged era of uncertainty. The economic environment has become so unpredictable that short-term, low-cost projects are the most feasible. Yet this kind of project can also offer a perfect testing ground for larger scale work,” says SO-IL partner Florian Idenburg. “Temporary projects require a particular mindset. You have to quickly grasp the local condition and provide a lean and elemental solution that provides a sense of specificity— a fleeting mark—even if only for an instant.” The two projects reflect SO-IL’s interpretation of the distinctive moods of contemporary Beijing and New York, the latter more contemplative and considered, the former full of energy and gusto.
Flockr Pavilion for Get It Louder
Get It Louder (http://getitlouder.com), an acclaimed biannual media and arts festival sponsored by Modern Media of China, features a series of lectures, screenings and exhibitions by over one hundred Chinese and foreign designers, artists, writers and filmmakers. Organized by an international team including Chinese curator and writer Ou Ning and design writer Aric Chen, this year’s theme “SHARISM” focuses on the relationship between public and private realms in the digital age. SO-IL was commissioned to design Get It Louder’s main pavilion, which serves as a central hub for the event and houses many of the festival’s activities.
SO – IL conceived the “Flockr” pavilion as a structure that responds to its environment while also creating a sense of place through its basic form. Covered with thousands of tinted mirrored panels, the skin reflects its surroundings and makes the changing contexts of this temporary and mobile installation—the cityscapes of Beijing and Shanghai— an integral part of its expression. In SO-IL’s experimental façade, only the top of each panel is attached to the structure, allowing the individual pieces to respond to wind and creating a kinetic skin that is permeable by light and air. The pavilion’s structure is made out of 56 thin, flexible steel rods that connect at the bottom and the top into two large steel rings. The larger bottom ring frames the interior perimeter of the structure while the smaller top ring creates a skylight; the relationship between the two results in the pavilion’s curvilinear womb-like shape. The activities that take place within are gently enclosed by a dynamic pattern of thousands of flickering reflections.
“Because it is circular in plan and curvilinear in section, the pavilion does not discriminate any direction,” says SO-IL partner Jing Liu. “Once passing through the entryway, the interior is generous and encompassing. “We envisioned the pavilion as a place where ideas can flock together, be projected, pass through, and be nurtured and distilled.”
The structure was assembled within four days for the opening on Sept 20th and will be demounted and reinstalled within a week’s time for its use in Shanghai. http://www.vimeo.com/15242279
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