UNStudio and MDT-tex Design Amsterdam Light Festival Pavilion

Eye_Beacon - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (30)

Photography © Janus van den Eijnden

Dubbed the Eye_Beacon, Dutch design firm UNStudio and global textile company MDT-tex collaborated on the ticketing and information pavilion for the fifth edition of the  Amsterdam Light Festival, which is held annually along the banks of the Amstel River in the Netherlands. Hosting dozens of artworks from international artists, designers, and architects, the theme of the 2016-2017 festival—on view through January 22—is biomimicry.

Eye_Beacon - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (15)

Photography © Janus van den Eijnden

Eye_Beacon - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (8)

Photography © Janus van den Eijnden

Boasting a tensile textile structure created with 250 panels of various sizes, the pavilion builds upon the overall theme of the festival as it was inspired by the bioluminescence of sea organisms, which allows them to remain visible within the dark depths of the ocean.

Eye_Beacon - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (24)

Photography © Janus van den Eijnden

Eye_Beacon - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden (35)

Photography © Janus van den Eijnden

The Eye_Beacon’s sculptural volume is comprised of two connected cubes illuminated by LEDs from the inside, which transform in color and intensity to emit a kaleidoscopic effervescent light to serve as a vibrant beacon for festival visitors. Providing glimpses of the interior, all surfaces of the pavilion are constructed from the tensile textile modules that together create a pattern of openings. “Similar to deep sea creatures that use bioluminescence to signal, attract and inform, the Eye_Beacon uses choreographed light sequences to alert visitors to its dual function as both a sculpture and an information point for the festival,” said UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel. “Along with the effect of the pavilion partially overhanging the Amstel River, the twist that connects the two halves of the structure emphasizes the crossing point between the land and water routes of the festival.”

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