The High Museum of Art has been engaging visitors of all ages in participatory art experiences on the Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza since 2014. This year’s site-specific commission Murmuration was designed by the architectural firm SO – IL. Inspired by Atlanta’s reputation as the “city in a forest” and by the High’s proximity to the city’s abundant greenspace Piedmont Park, SO – IL has designed a 2,350-square-foot mesh canopy that evokes the environment of neighboring trees. This sculptural pavilion, complete with feeding stations and perches, also reflects upon the loss of billions of birds in recent decades. Visitors are invited to “perch and nest” alongside the birds in this outdoor mesh canopy.
Header Photo (c) Fredrik Brauer
About SO – IL
SO – IL (Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu) is the Brooklyn-based architectural firm founded by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in 2008. With their highly original voice, Idenburg and Liu help communities connect to their environments through collaboration and participation. Their experiential architectural projects make use of ambiguity and interpretation, allowing for a study of contrasts to emerge. SO – IL believes that meaningful architecture can develop out of the confluence of universal concepts and local specificities, engendering conversations around issues facing society today.
SO – IL’s architectural practice integrates cultural projects and temporary pavilions, including the winning design Pole Dance for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (2010) and Spiky, produced for the 5th China International Architectural Biennial (2013), as well as permanent structures, such as the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California at Davis (2018), all of which inform the canopy structure seen in Murmuration.
Born in the Netherlands, Florian Idenburg studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology before working for the Japanese architectural firm SANAA in Tokyo. Jing Liu was born in China and was educated in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, studying architecture at Tulane University’s School of Architecture. In 2008, they formed their award-winning practice; in the work presented here, they collaborated with SO – IL associates Ted Baab, Andy Gibbs, and Ray Rui Wu.