ON_AIR – temporary entrance by INSTANT
June 04 – July 13, 2005
As part of its collaboration with P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/MoMA, in summer 2004, KW Institute for Contemporary Art initiated an architectural competition for a temporary architectonic intervention in the KW’s entrance. KW’s aim was both to provide an emerging architectural office a platform and to improve KW’s visibility from the street. An international jury has selected the proposal On_Air by the Berlin/Zurich-based office INSTANT (Dirk Hebel and Jörg Stollmann).
On_Air is a transparent, self-supporting balcony that will extend KW’s facade into the public realm. The inflatable structure resembles a balloon or a floating cushion and allows additional space without interfering with the existing building, which dates back to the 18th century and is protected as a certified monument. It was an internal prosthesis for the building, in other words, a new interior that could be deflated and moved elsewhere.
So-called tensairity elements, an innovation in pneumatic construction developed for ultra-lightweight structures, will stiffen the overall structure, and allow visitors to float in space and look over the street. The project used an inflatable variant on structural tensegrity, a concept first developed by sculptor Kenneth Snelson with the input of Buckminster Fuller.