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Mesh structure evokes Atlanta’s tree canopy

January 1st, 2021 / By: / Case Studies

A mesh canopy installation at the High Museum of Art was inspired by bird murmuration, a phenomenon of a flock of birds seemingly suspended in midair. Photos: Fredrik Bauer.

Atlanta, Ga., is known as the “city in the forest” because of its abundance of trees. A mesh sculpture installed at the High Museum of Art in the summer of 2020 drew on Atlanta’s relationship with the natural world and bird migration with the goal of spurring conversations around biodiversity, extinction and cohabitation.

The temporary installation, dubbed Murmuration, was created
by a team from the New York City-based architectural firm SO–IL
(
Solid Objectives–Idenburg Liu) in collaboration with structural
engineers from Uzun + Case, Atlanta, Ga., and fabricator Factor Eficiencia, Mexico City, Mexico.

The 2,350-square-foot canopy surrounded museum guests in foliage-like agricultural netting suspended from a steel framework. According to a press release from the architectural firm, the sculptural arrangement echoes the form of a bird murmuration—a flock of birds momentarily suspended in midair. The canopy is strewn with birdfeeders, seating perches and other playful elements to encourage interaction, observation and awareness. Murmuration advocates for conservation efforts toward birds, questioning their loss and the consequences to the environment.

Installed in July, the structure was in place through late November. The canopy was fabricated and fully erected in Mexico before being shipped to Atlanta, and can be installed in other locations in the future, creating its own migratory path.