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26. Flockr

Client: Modern Media Group / Get It Louder
Location: Beijing, China
Program: Museum, restaurant, shop
Area: 200m² / 2.150 sf
Status: Completed in 2010
Team: Jing Liu, Florian Idenburg, Jazzy Li (lead), Iannis Kandyliaris



Get It Louder, 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; once passing through the entryway, the interior is generous and encompassing.

The structure was assembled within six days on location in Beijing and demounted and reinstalled within a week’s time for its use in Shanghai.