Tensegrity Späti

Barkow – Leibinger

Entorno Iglesia de Santiago – Concéntrico 09

Tensegrity is a structural concept promoted by architects and engineers such as Buckminster Fuller or Kenneth Snelson in the last century. Rigid linear elements float weightless in space held in tension by steel cables or rope. Seemingly defying gravity, these structures are configurable, lightweight and in equilibrium.

The intention of this research is to consider these structures as architecture rather than sculpture as they have been imagined and built historically. By adding cladding/skin, circulation and scale, these structures accumulate architectural elements that spatialise, program and rigidify them. By consisting of contemporary and sustainable materials such as wood, natural fibres and recycled materials, our hope is to offer a sustainable prototype for a common space with a low impact on the site or the ground.

Looking at the site at the entrance of the Iglasia de Santiago el Real as an urban insertion / pop up offering German beer and pretzels. The construction and seating elements are made of debarked wood, covered with a laser-cut textile membrane.

Barkow Leibinger

In 1993, Frank Barkow and Regine Leibinger founded their American-German practice which has grown into a team of 80+ architects, model builders and support staff. Active internationally, the roots of the firm go back to building for industry, companies whose technologies drove an interest in evolving technologies and craft.

The interface between practice, research and teaching characterizes the practice approach. A focus on materiality and how they are transformed by digital and analogue tools and technologies, underscores much of the experimentation in the practice. This research then informs the design and construction of building elements for ongoing projects. A particular focus has been on prefabrication, in concrete (gradient or lightweight), timber, and ceramic elements.

The spectrum of Barkow Leibinger’s work is multi-scaled: from master planning, urban high-rises, office and industrial buildings to residential, installation and prototypical exhibition pavilions. Most recently completed is the Harvard ArtLab in Cambridge and the Sid Richardson Residential College at Rice University in Houston.

The work of the firm has been featured in several exhibitions, with a retrospective at the Haus am Waldsee, Berlin 2020, including (among others) at the Architectural Association in London, the 2008 and 2014 Venice Architecture Biennials, the 2012 Marrakech Biennial, the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

In 2007, Barkow Leibinger’s work was awarded the Marcus Prize for Architecture. They have received the DAM Prize for Architecture in Germany in 2009 and several Honor Awards for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. The “Smart Material House” in Hamburg received the Holcim Global Innovation Prize in 2012.

With the collaboration of

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