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Beta Sheet Somerset House, London Menu Next
Paper, adhesive, nylon, steel eylets and rivets.
Somerset House, London.
Beta Sheet is a site-specific commission produced for the Stamp Staircase at Somerset House, London. The twenty metre void created by the spiral staircase was filled with a twisted, continuous ribbon of pleated paper, which is highly suggestive of movement, and aims to draw visitors along the staircase.
Beta Sheet comprises twenty six unique hand pleated sections, which are glued together to create a continuous sheet. The pleat pattern was derived from a combination of computer generated models and hand-made test pieces, which were spliced to create a single layout diagram. The final pattern was then divided into sections and printed to create templates, which were used to transfer the layout to paper for hand-scoring and folding.
A full scale model was tested by suspending it from a tree, which aided in generating an initial rigging layout. The final form of the piece was not predetermined, but composed on an ad-hoc basis within the staircase space- the inherent tensions within the paper dictating the form. Metal fittings were placed at multiple points along the length of the piece, which once suspended, could be grasped with the use of a hooked length of dowel. This technique allowed Sweeney to take hold of the pleat within the staircase space, and further refine the composition of the sheet in-situ by adding and removing parts of the nylon rigging until a balanced form was achieved.