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Metro Cities: The life of scaffolding beyond the construction site

Architects, designers and builders are using the quick-assemble methods to create more than a secondary structure. These scaffolding creations are the main event.

The Stairs to the Kriterion by MVRDV

Ossip van Duivenbode / MVRDV

The Stairs to the Kriterion by MVRDV

The bits of steel and wood that rise alongside construction projects can sometimes be thought of as secondary to the main event. But these designers captured the flexibility of scaffolding to make quick-assemble or temporary structures that make their mark by being just that.

Stepping out

Dutch design firm MVRDV constructed Stairs To The Kriterion in Rotterdam in 2016. Over the course of its one-month lifespan, the 29-metre tall, 57-metre long flight of stairs gave visitors a series of new perspectives on the city.

Reflecting

A viewing platform at Ground Zero.

Contributed / The Rockwell Group

A viewing platform at Ground Zero.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Ground Zero was simultaneously a mass grave and a construction zone. To allow a space for mourning and reflection amid the machinery, The Rockwell Group along with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Kevin Kennon Architects constructed a viewing platform from humble materials. The 4-metre platform stood for 8 months.

Play house

L'Architecture du RAB by EXYZT.

EXYZT / Flickr

L'Architecture du RAB by EXYZT.

French design collective EXYZT debuted in 2003 with L'Architecture du RAB, a temporary structure on the outskirts of a city park where the young architecture students then lived for five weeks. Disbanded in 2015, the group toyed with notions of democratizing space and bottom-up place making.

Shelter

The 23 tents of Malka Architecture's AKAMP-47.

Malka Architecture / Contributed

The 23 tents of Malka Architecture's AKAMP-47.

In 2013, a team from Malka Architecture, the firm developed by graffiti artist turned architect Stéphane Malka took over a so-called blind wall in Malka's hometown of Marseilles, France. The site, sandwiched between rail yards and a cultural centre, was in an ownership grey zone, they argued. The AKAMP-47 project saw 23 individual tents go up in a collective construction, providing increased security and strength in numbers for the city's homeless population.

Learning

A colourful pavilion now serves as a school in Kenya.

Iwan Baan

A colourful pavilion now serves as a school in Kenya.

This colourful pavilion from Spanish architecture duo Selgascano was first erected in a Copenhagen art museum, but it now stands as a school in Kibera, an area in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, serving 600 orphaned children.

H/T to the Center for Architecture. The examples from this series are part of the center's current show Scaffolding.

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