The Mumbai Lab. Photo: courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow
Photo: courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow
The carbon-fiber structure in action in Berlin. Photo: Luke Abiol
The carbon-fiber structure debuted in New York. Photo: David Heald
Atelier Bow-Wow, architect for the Lab. Photo: courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow
The architecture of the BMW Guggenheim Lab structure is designed to be responsive to the cities the Lab visits. For the Lab's recently concluded Mumbai presentation, Atelier Bow-Wow of Tokyo, working with Mumbai's SDM Architects, designed a structure uniquely suited to the densely populated environment of Mumbai. Modeled after the Indian mandapa, a raised outdoor pavilion traditionally used for public celebrations and events, the Mumbai Lab structure was constructed primarily of bamboo and evoked a light, open and transparent quality. A second, traveling version of the Mumbai structure was also adapted for “pop-up” assembly at a variety of satellite sites throughout the city.
For the New York and Berlin Labs, Atelier Bow-Wow created a lightweight and compact design described as a “traveling toolbox,” with a structural skeleton built of carbon fiber. The structure’s lower half was a present-day version of the Mediterranean loggia, an open space that could easily be configured to accommodate the Lab’s various programs. The upper part of the structure housed a flexible rigging system and was wrapped in a semitransparent mesh. Through this external skin, visitors were able to catch glimpses of the extensive apparatus of “tools” that could be lowered or raised from the canopy according to the Lab’s programming needs, transforming the ground space into a formal lecture setting, a stage for a celebratory gathering, or a workshop with tables for hands-on experiments.
Atelier Bow-Wow, Tokyo, Japan
Principals: Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima
Project Team: Mirai Morita
Fabrication and Structural Engineering
Mumbai Design and Construction
Berlin Design, Engineering, and Construction
Local Architect: magma architecture, Berlin, Germany
Structural and Civil Engineer: Arup, Berlin, Germany
Construction Management: NUSSLI Group, Switzerland/USA