Architecture

Net staircase makes getting upstairs more fun

Net staircase makes getting up...
Net Linz is a rope-based installation at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, that people can climb as a means of moving between floors
Net Linz is a rope-based installation at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, that people can climb as a means of moving between floors
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Net Linz is a rope-based installation at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, that people can climb as a means of moving between floors
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Net Linz is a rope-based installation at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, that people can climb as a means of moving between floors
Visitors climbing Net Linz
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Visitors climbing Net Linz
Net Linz is made of tough netting
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Net Linz is made of tough netting
Net Linz can be accessed from the ground
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Net Linz can be accessed from the ground
Net Linz sways and wobbles as people climb it
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Net Linz sways and wobbles as people climb it
Net Linz is 25 m (82 ft) long
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Net Linz is 25 m (82 ft) long
Circular openings in Net Linz provide access to the installation
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Circular openings in Net Linz provide access to the installation
The circular openings are also used to provide access to different sections of the Net Linz installation
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The circular openings are also used to provide access to different sections of the Net Linz installation
According to Numen, some people have spent hours climbing around Net Linz
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According to Numen, some people have spent hours climbing around Net Linz
Net Linz is 10 m (33 ft) high
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Net Linz is 10 m (33 ft) high
Net Linz is 4 m (13 ft) wide
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Net Linz is 4 m (13 ft) wide
Sand bags are used to weigh down the Net Linz installation
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Sand bags are used to weigh down the Net Linz installation
Connecting ropes provide different sections of the Net Linz installation with stability
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Connecting ropes provide different sections of the Net Linz installation with stability
Net Linz hangs in the stairwell of the OK Center
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Net Linz hangs in the stairwell of the OK Center
The response to Net Linz has been positive, according to Numen
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The response to Net Linz has been positive, according to Numen
Net Linz sags as people walk along it
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Net Linz sags as people walk along it
Net Linz is hung from the ceiling
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Net Linz is hung from the ceiling
Multiple people can inhabit Net Linz at the same time
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Multiple people can inhabit Net Linz at the same time
People pass between different sections of Net Linz
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People pass between different sections of Net Linz
People are asked to remove their shoes before climbing Net Linz
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People are asked to remove their shoes before climbing Net Linz
People climbing Net Linz
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People climbing Net Linz
People moving between sections of Net Linz
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People moving between sections of Net Linz
Net Linz is stretched throughout the OK Center space
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Net Linz is stretched throughout the OK Center space
A model of Net Linz
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A model of Net Linz
A side view of a model of Net Linz
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A side view of a model of Net Linz
Inside view of a model of Net Linz
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Inside view of a model of Net Linz

Moving between the levels of a building is not something people tend to think of as anything other than perfunctory. We rarely think, for example, about whether our going upstairs or downstairs is adequately fun. A new installation at Austria's OK Center for Contemporary Art, however, has made it so.

Net Linz is designed by design collective Numen, whose String installation Gizmag featured earlier this year. String takes the form of a 3D grid of ropes suspended within a huge, blank, inflated cube. Individuals are able to climb around the cube in an unusual and disorienting environment. Net Linz is a similar interactive rope structure.

Numen describes Net Linz as "inhabitable / climbable social sculpture serving as an experimental staircase in the exhibition space." It is 25 m (82 ft) long, 10 m (33 ft) high and 4 m (13 ft) wide, and can be accessed from any level of the building. According to Numen's Nikola Radeljkovic, it was designed specifically for the OK Center space, albeit based on previous Net installations created elsewhere.

Net Linz is 10 m (33 ft) high
Net Linz is 10 m (33 ft) high

"In this narrow but long and extremely high corridor we couldn’t have done anything else," explains Radeljkovic. "Which doesn’t mean that the solution came easily. Since the physics of the structure work totally differently in horizontal and vertical 'modes', we had to test the idea in larger and larger models. In the end we made 1:4 scale model in order to test how the tension will spread."

The nets have a canyon-like appearance, as a result of being hung from the ceiling and weighted to the floor with sand bags. Climbing them is said to provide a swaying and wobbly sensation, albeit without necessarily causing alarm. Some visitors have spent hours climbing up and down the nets, Radeljkovic reports, despite the hard and uncomfortable rope material.

Net Linz is on display at the OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, until October 19th.

Source: Numen

2 comments
Mel Tisdale
I hope that they have a notice that politely informs those using the installation do so at their own risk. By the look of it, not doing so could prove costly.
Schuyler19
What a fun, creative piece of art! I could see myself in the Net Linz for many hours. to kids it's a jungle gym!