Live Wires

Architectkidd has completed Now 26, a building using steel tubing as its primary material.Now26_Studio_Architectkidd_Luke_Yeung

The building – a production studio and offices for the television station Now 26 – is a renovation of an existing structure. During the initial stage of the project, the removal of the old cladding exposed the existing steel structure along with the electrical and services installation.


19mm steel hollow tubes were selected as an economic and utilitarian architectural material to compliment the structure and systems that remained in place after the renovation.


The use of steel tubing allowed the design to be developed ‘inside-out’. The steel tubes were used throughout the interior spaces and in various scales from ceiling to furniture installations.


By varying the density and patterning in different applications, the steel tubes extended out towards the exterior and were attached on to the existing structural frame. Bending and curving the steel tubes were achieved by construction workers and tools typically used for installing electrical conduits in buildings.


Architectkidd’s projects often come from observations in construction sites to see what kind of tools people use to form materials.  It is a kind of a reverse engineering method – studying different modes of construction and tools of production with the intention to use it in new and different ways.


Every project we embark on is kind of a tribute to the handmade in architecture. Even as more high technologies and processes are used, for us there remains one basic and necessary component in making buildings – the handmade aspect.


The majority of building construction in South East Asia remains a handmade activity but architectural design does not often acknowledge this.  The Now 26 Studio is a thoroughly modern building but at the same time it is almost entirely handmade.


The entire façade of Now 26 maps the progress of fabrication. Installation of the steel tubes began in a simple way on the upper left side of the building using diagonal angles and along the vertical plane.


The design was adapted as workers became progressively more sophisticated in manipulating the steel pipes.  Around the area of the stairs, the steel segments began to turn in 3-dimensions.


On the lower left portions, the building signage is integrated to the facade design. Where the facade meets the ground floor, steel pipes converge into one location near the entrance of the building.


From a distance, the building is white and opaque, with the exterior rendering an effect of a solid surface composed of diagonals and contours.


Up close, the exterior appears more transparent, like a wireframe that wraps around and into the interior space.


Architectkidd‘s design for Now 26 has recently been featured in several publications such as Archdaily, Elle Decoration (Thailand) and Inhabitat.


Please view the gallery of images of the Now 26 project below. Photographs are by Spaceshift Studio and Luke Yeung.