SO-IL realizes spiky expanded metal installation in beijing SO-IL realizes spiky expanded metal installation in beijing
nov 07, 2013

SO-IL realizes spiky expanded metal installation in beijing

SO-IL realizes spiky expanded metal installation in beijing
all images courtesy of SO-IL




brooklyn-based firm SO-IL have realized ‘spiky’ – a canopy made from a series of conical forms – as part of the 5th china international architectural biennial 2013. the modular installation has been derived from the team’s local material research, which led them to use expanded metal mesh — a standard economic product manufactured in a nearby northeastern region of the southeast asian country. SO-IL studied and employed cutting techniques to create controlled geometric forms by lacerating their choice medium with a design that sees the flat sheets become three-dimensional forms. the funnel-shaped modules are created through steel poles that are pushed through their core, and which also serve as the work’s vertical support system. ‘spiky can be arranged in compositions ranging from nine to twenty-five of the infundibular modules.



look up through one of the cones




providing shelter is the starting point of architecture, protecting us from the elements. often our roofs are angled or flat, heavy and opaque, but sometimes we experience a more ephemeral condition–a light transparent structure that allows for a totally different relationship with our surroundings. located in a large public plaza in beijing olympic park, adjacent to the national stadium, the flexible and gestural system of ‘spiky’ falls between the boundaries of architecture and art, provoking one’s perception of art as a component of public space, and how we interact with our built environment. the optical effects of the piece frame the world around us, feeling at once solid and porous, drawing visitors in to discover its structural beauty.



detail of the steel poles which push the flat metal sheets into three-dimensional forms



the individual modules ready to be expanded into their final conical forms



study models


geometric control diagrams



project info:

client: 5th china international architectural biennial 2013
architect: SO-IL, florian idenburg (principal), jing liu (principal), ilias papageorgiou (associate principal), iannis kandyliaris, nile greenberg, tianci han, dichen ding
location: beijing, china
program: pavilion
area: 100 m² / 1076 sf
budget: undisclosed
status: completed october 2013
credits: a. zahner co. and slaich bergermann and partner LP (constructability and engineering advice)
photography: SO-IL

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news