The Pompidou Centre tunnel-like staircase is decked out to raise awareness of AIDS.

When asked to build a trade show pavilion, entrants of the Ceramics of Italy Exhibition Design Challenge last year were blessed with access to an incredible range of ceramic tiles. Utilizing CTI’s extensive catalogue, competing architects were to design a temporary space to join the ranks of ceramic experiments by Aldo Rossi and Bernard Tschumi. When commissioned to outfit the iconic tunnel-like staircase at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Irish artist Bryan McCormack took on a wholly different base material as his launching point: condoms.

Preservation is Life is an installation that spans all six floors of the tubular exterior stairway, lining the tunnels with 80,000 colored condoms pulled over a sea of cylindrical light bulbs. According to Feel Desain, as visitors ascend the museum, they pulse through waves of color and listen to streaming audio of different frequency heartbeats. The immersive experience is a striking visual essay on materiality, a wonderful site-specific installation, and a bold statement aimed at raising AIDS awareness.

 

 

 

[All images courtesy Feel Desain]

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  2. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  3. Design

    What’s Behind the Iconic Floor Plan of London

    The most common residential floor plans in European cities offer a window into urban history and culture. In London, it’s the “two-up, two-down” row house.

  4. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  5. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

×