Periscope: Foam Tower

Periscope was the winning entry in the 10Up! architecture competition, sponsored by the Young Architect Forum of Atlanta. The competition called for entries that could be constructed in twenty-four hours in a ten-foot by ten-foot plot. No height limit was given. Taking advantage of this oversight, the form of the tower inverts the structural rhetoric of what appears to be a tensile fabric lifted by impossibly thin compression rods. In reality, the sixty-foot tall tower is constructed of expanded polystyrene foam blocks that were robotically cut, stacked, and then placed in compression by tension cables that lash the very large and wind-prone installation to a heavy, stabilizing foundation.

Further Information on Periscope can be found in our publication 'Range'.


year: 2010
location: Atlanta, Georgia
site: 14th Street & Howell Mill Road
client: Modern Atlanta 10up! Competition
material: EPS Foam
principal: Brandon Clifford + Wes McGee
in collaboration with: Matthew Johnson—Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and Dave Pigram—Supermanoeuvre
build team: Maciej Kaczynski / Johanna Lobdell / Deniz McGee / Kris Walters
rigging: Tierson Boutte
fabrication: University of Michigan TCAUP FABLab