Frieze Art Fair Unveils Plans for Snake-Like New York Tent

On the eve of the Armory Show, the rival Frieze Art Fair released plans today for the “bespoke” structure that will house its first New York fair in May on Randall’s Island. Created by the New York-based design firm SO-IL, the Frieze tent will have a distinctive “snake-shaped structure” designed to conform with the unique river-front setting of the fair.

SO-Il, aka Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu, is a 10-person team whose recent projects include the Province Hall in Antwerp, Belgium, offices for the production company Logan in Soho and the “Pole Dance” installation at MoMA PS1, which housed the popular summer “Warm Up” concert series in 2010.

The “idea based” SO-IL firm conveyed their aims in a statement as follows:

The first challenge was to establish the structure as an icon, beyond being a very large tent. With the ambition to relax and open up what would otherwise be a rigorous system, we devised a slightly mutated pie-shaped tent section, using “wedges” which we inserted into the structure at five locations. From the outside, they allow us to bend the otherwise straight tent into a meandering, supple, shape.

“New York in May is one of the brightest cities we know of,” Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu said in the statement. “We hope that the Frieze tent makes this island riverfront alive and vice versa in this luminous moment.”

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