Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

Steel Installation / Smart Factory

A gleaming sculpture welcomes visitors to the lobby of the Trumpf Smart Factory Chicago, a presentation and sales center for digitally-networked metal processing machines newly opened in 2017. Large scaled yet seemingly delicate, the hanging construction, made of 2-meter tall curved steel sheeting, demonstrates the possibilities of modern sheet metal processing technologies.

Within the double-height entrance hall, seven elements suspended from thin steel cables float about 2.5 meters above the floor. Each component consists of several bowed pieces of sheet metal, as if sliced from tubes of varying sizes, welded together into bundles varying in diameter of either 46, 60 or 74 cm.

The interplay of elements in combination creates a buoyant, permeable structure with a total diameter of 2 meters. The high-polish surface contrasts the building’s raw Corten-steel façade, matte black steel construction, and interior charred wood walls. Reflecting the incoming light dozens of times over, the sculpture becomes the building’s gleaming, silvery jewel.

Project Information

Steel Installation for the Trumpf Smart Factory Chicago


Barkow Leibinger

Frank Barkow, Heiko Krech, Johannes Beck



TRUMPF Inc., Hoffman Estates, Chicago, IL, USA


Structural Engineer

Knippers Helbig GmbH, Berlin, Germany and New York, USA


Metal Fabrication

Sam Kusack / Kammetal Inc, Brooklyn, New York, USA



Edelstahl, hochglanzpoliert






Steve Hall © Hall + Merrick Photographers, Chicago, USA

© Simon Menges, Berlin, Germany