La Cage aux Folles

Architect: Warren Techentin Architecture

Location: Silver Lake, California

Category: Up to $150,000 in construction costs (category one)

This complex, experimental bent steel tube structure actively engages the neighborhood by providing a space for unscripted use and curated performances.

wtarch.com

Installed in the courtyard gallery of Materials & Applications, this project is an experimental bent steel tube structure that explores the craft of pipe bending, joining form, computational procedures, and fabrication processes into a complex structure that assumes various postures and porosities through looping and layering.

La Cage aux Folles actively engages the neighborhood by opening the courtyard to the sidewalk as a pocket park, albeit a small one. In this way, the design team wanted the project to lay within the traditions of both landscape architecture and urbanism.

Its engagement with the street provided a space for both unscripted use and curated performances. La Cage aux Folles has become a social condenser for the neighborhood and host to many activities during its run, including a three-person dance performance and a video animation of hummingbirds mid-flight—in slow motion—projected through multiple scrims.

Additional information

Profile pipe bending: Paramount Roll and Forming

Fabricator: Ramirez Ironworks

Structural engineer: Anders Carlson

Paint supplier: Tnemec Paint

Jury

Jean Dufresne, AIA (Chair), Space Architects + Planners, Chicago

Richard Fernau, FAIA, Fernau + Hartman Architects, Berkeley, California

Joyce Hwang, AIA, Ants of the Prairie, Buffalo, New York

Jack Travis, FAIA, Jack Travis FAIA Architect, Bronx, New York

Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY Los Angeles, Culver City, California

Image credits

WTARCH_LaCageAuxFolles1_Nicolas Alan Cope_sm

Nicolas Alan Cope

WTARCH_LaCageAuxFolles2_Nicolas Alan Cope_sm

Nicolas Alan Cope

WTARCH_LaCageAuxFolles3_Nicolas Alan Cope_sm

Nicolas Alan Cope

WTARCH_LaCageAuxFolles4_Nicolas Alan Cope_sm

Nicolas Alan Cope

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Nicolas Alan Cope

WTARCH_LaCageAuxFolles7_Stephen Linsley_sm

Stephen Linsley