The Lab ended its stay in Mumbai on January 20, 2013.
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The architecture of the BMW Guggenheim Lab structure is designed to be responsive to the cities visited by the Lab. 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.
For the Mumbai Lab, Atelier Bow-Wow of Tokyo, working with Mumbai's SDM Architects, designed a structure uniquely suited for 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 adapted for pop-up assembly at a variety of satellite sites throughout the city.
About Atelier Bow-Wow
Atelier Bow-Wow was established in Tokyo in 1992 by the husband-and-wife team of Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. Best known for its surprising, idiosyncratic, yet highly usable residential projects in dense urban environments, the firm has developed its practice based on a profound and unprejudiced study of existing cultural, economic, and environmental conditions—a study that led it to propose the term “pet architecture” for the multitude of odd, ungainly, but functional little buildings wedged into tiny sites around Tokyo. Atelier Bow-Wow has also acquired an enthusiastic following through its Micro Public Space projects and its innovative projects at exhibitions such as the 2010 Venice Biennale (as an official representative of Japan) and the São Paulo Bienal, as well as at venues such as the Hayward in London, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, The Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles, the Japan Society in New York, and the OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich in Linz, Austria.