In the Spring of 2017, Georgia Tech’s student organization Women in Architecture began an independent study focused on creating a submission piece for Art on the BeltLine Competition. A final group of four completed the construction and fabrication phase with aide from the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the Digital Fabrication Lab. The piece was installed on the Beltline Eastside Trail from December 2017 to June 2018. Final installment on Georgia Tech’s Campus was completed in February 2019. The Veil stands as a symbol of unity, a symbol of equity, and a symbol of integrity.
Design ChallengeThe Veil is composed of extruded aluminum piping with galvanized steel cable and steel plates. It is completely composed of metal, which is generally considered a masculine material. When naming the project, we considered the materials and what it meant to be a woman in the field of architecture. What name could accurately reflect the project and deconstruct the idea that the field of architecture is a male-dominated profession in an age where women are becoming stronger members of the workplace? A veil is traditionally meant to conceal a woman’s face. Why not take such a strong notion of suppression and masculate it?
The Veil was removed from the Beltline in June of 2018 with plans to re-install on the campus of Georgia Tech. However, the aluminum tubes had become scratched and weathered by the elements of Old Fourth Ward and the originally specified 5/8 inch cables proved to be difficult to work with, creating a bulky appearance. This led to the decision to use smaller, sleeker cables at 1/8 inch and smaller fasteners and turnbuckles to facilitate ease of installment and maintenance. The spines that previously held the thicker cable were removed, and the tubes were then sanded down and polished. Grooves were cut into the pipes to provide a smoother way to wrap the cables around each tube. Final installment began in October 2018 and installation was completed in February of 2019. The Veil stands on campus just outside the Love Building.
Physical ContextThe Veil floats above the landscape; from afar it stands as a canopy of lightness and delicacy. Yet the canopy comprised of individual steel cables serves as a tensile structure, forcing the aluminum tubes into a formation of crossing A-frame constructions. The cables drape over the structure, creating a veil. The play of light and shadow interacts with the intertwining cables and allows visitors to experience a veil of shade when walking through the sculpture. The highest point of the structure emerges from its foundations, protruding above visitors, while the stability of the cables brings it into its equilibrium, serving as a manifestation of Women in Architecture’s commitment to equity within the field of architecture.