The brief called for a ‘rapidly deployable, temporary installation, on a limited budget to fit within a 10ft x 10ft limited plot. Our response: a tower of foam.
The Periscope Tower is the result of winning the 2010 Young Architects Forum (Atlanta) 10UP Competition. The competition was to produce a pavilion for the Modern Atlanta event, an annual international festival of design. The omission of a height limit provided the significant opportunity to take advantage of the geological ridge of Howell Mill Road with clear views to both the downtown and midtown skyline (a device made possible through height). The approximately 50 foot tall tower served as a signifier for the Modern Atlanta event as well as a demonstration of contemporary digital fabrication culture. Robotically fabricated at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the tower is internationally unprecedented.
A hotwire mounted to a 6-Axis industrial robot, accurately cut the individually unique components from large blocks of EPS foam. This foam is 90% air by volume, meaning it is inherently volumetric, inexpensive, and lightweight meaning few people can handle large assemblies. In addition to these qualities, EPS foam contains no CFC’s and is 100% recyclable/ reusable. The tower was assembled on site in just 6 hours and has since been demounted and reassembled at the University of Georgia.