Things are (almost) always better when they are done in collaboration. ‘What should go on the outside of our buildings’ is one of the strongest questions that architects are posed with today. We are well out of the age of building when the outside is the surface of the building’s structure. In the archiscape of the curtain wall and the balloon frame and structural steel, what is on the outside is really up to certain influential factors such as environment and economy, and the architect’s discretion. And while this at first glance appear freeing- and it is- it is also one more thing to get ‘just right’ which the architect must concern over.

Courtesy of Ned Kahn

Articulated Cloud is a facade covering for the Pittsburg Children’s Museum in which the artist Ned Kahn cooperated with architects Koning/Eizenberg, the museum’s staff, contractors, and a plastics manufactorer. The whole party was there and because it was no longer just one party’s brainchild, something truly wonderful resulted. The wall is composed of thousands of white plastic square which move with the wind. Just as a cloud traces the paths of airflow as they cut through the sky, these flaps move in chorus and flow to create the impression that the entire building is enveloped in an abstract cloud.

Courtesy of Ned Kahn

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