Canopy Is Filled with Balls Blown by Wind

Cloud Seeding Pavilion canopy IsraelNew York-based architects MODU, in collaboration with Geotectura, designed a pavilion in Holon, Israel with a canopy made of mesh fabric filled with small balls that move as they are blown by the wind.

The 2,500-square-foot Cloud Seeding Pavilion is located outside the Design Museum Holon, which is the only museum dedicated to design in Israel. The museum is housed in a building designed by Ron Arad. It opened in 2010.

The canopy is filled with 30,000 balls made of recycled PET plastic. They are suspended between architectural fabric mesh panels that allow air to flow through them. The lightweight balls move in response to even small shifts in the direction of the wind. This effect creates an interplay of light and shadow on the ceiling and the ground.

MODU constructed the canopy with a conventional greenhouse frame, which is commonly used in agriculture in Israel. The greenhouse frame was inexpensive and easy to construct.

The pavilion is used to hold small events, but the constantly shifting ceiling is intended to make it an attraction by itself. Simple beach chairs were placed under the canopy to encourage passersby to sit and watch the movement of the balls above them. The project was intended to focus more on engaging the public than on the form of the structure.

Architects at MODU say they always try to work on the border of architecture and the environment. When they visited the site initially, they noticed that it was very hot but also realized that it was often windy.

The canopy was created as a prototype. MODU is in talks with another organization about constructing a second canopy at a different site in Holon.

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