The first ever all carbon fiber structure opened its “doors” on August 3 in New York City. Nestled between two buildings, this previously abandoned lot is now home to the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile project aimed to engage locals in discussions and activities pertaining to urban living. The theme of the lab for the first two-year cycle, is ‘Confronting Comfort’, which explores individual and collective comfort along with environmental and social responsibility.
This project was commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and is sponsored by automotive company BMW. It is described on the projects website as “part urban think tank, part community center and public gathering space, the Lab is conceived to inspire public discourse in cities around the world.”
Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow is behind the design of the mobile ‘theater’. Because of their extensive use of carbon fiber, everything is easily transportable. An open space at streel level, the two-story carbon fiber framed structure is said to comfortably accommodate about 300 people. The frame is draped with carbon fiber mesh which also hides the suspended video screens, lights and audio equipment. Curtains are available on the lower level to be pulled around the building, just like a hospital bed.
More than 100 events and activities are planned for the site and everything is free to the public. “Emerging talents in the areas of urban-ism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability, the Lab addresses issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse. Its goal is the exploration of new ideas, experimentation, and ultimately the creation of forward-thinking solutions for city life.” Additionally, “the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and social communities provide opportunities for participants around the world to engage with and to contribute to the ideas and experiments generated by the Lab.”
The BMW Guggenheim Lab will be stationary in New York City from August 3 until October 16, and will then be making its way to Berlin and a city in Asia. Two additional two-year cycles will follow, each with a new mobile structure and theme, concluding in the fall of 2016. Smart thinking with the use of carbon fiber for this lab to travel the world!