Designer(s): Georg Rafailidis (director, lead), Stephanie Davidson (director)
Staff: Jia Ma, Aleksandr Marchuk, United States
Category: , Professional
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MirrorMirror tents are portable pop-up event structures designed to be set-up in six minutes or less.
The tents are extremely lightweight, with a double-sided mirrored canopy. The simple, gabled roof, angled at 45 degrees offers a radically new and intensified view of street life. The exterior of the mirrored roof reflects its surroundings. The reflective structures follow the logic of an instant, pop-up architecture – they are not tied to a single site, but nevertheless remain contextual. They take-on entirely different characters in different locations.
The roof of the modular unit is made using reinforced aluminum framed panels with stretched, reflective Mylar foil. This material is typically used in space craft construction or for large mirror panels at film sets.
The on-site assembly of the tents is extremely fast. First, all steel frames unfold to form tripods. Then, all mirrored panels unhinge and slide onto the steel frames to form a rigid structural system. Standard concrete blocks provide the necessary weight to resist uplift by winds. No tools are needed.
The structural system consists of two components: the mirrored gabled roof and a steel tripod frame. Both structures are hinged, allowing them to fold completely flat for packing, transport and storage. The entire assembly of tents installed, for example, at the IDEAS CITY street fest in New York at the New Museum covered 1000 sqft. Packed-up, ten units barely filled half of a U-Haul truck.
MirrorMirror allows for extremely different configurations in scale, use and spatial experience. It can be used as a single unit but also combined to larger structures to form linear or field-like typologies. The reflection follows the context to the point where the structures almost camouflage themselves.
About the Designer/Company
Georg Rafailidis received his architectural diploma from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich Germany and a Master of Arts from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England. Rafailidis was assistant professor at the RWTH University in Aachen Germany and is currently teaching at SUNY USA. He worked for Herzog & de Meuron in Basel and London before setting up the independent practice, Davidson Rafailidis, with his partner Stephanie Davidson in 2009.