Barkow Leibinger

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

Tensegrity Späti Logroño

Concéntrico is an international festival of architecture and design in Logroño, Spain. Every year it invites its visitors to explore the small town through installations, exhibitions, activities, and performances, reflecting on the built environment. In its 9th edition, the festival has gathered 21 interventions created by teams of national and international architects and designers. 

Our contribution "Tensegrity Späti", a temporary pop-up installation, combines two concepts: that of a tensegrity structure made of timber logs and steel connections with a textile sheathing and that of a "Späti". The term Späti comes from the Berlin vernacular and stands for stores that are open around the clock, mostly selling drinks, food, and magazines, as well as everyday necessities. 

Tensegrity, a word combining the terms "tension" and "integrity", describes a stable construction where independent compression members (poles) are connected only by tension cables. These structures, which seem to defy gravity, have a low dead weight and are easily configurable. The goal of our investigation was to investigate these structures as architecture rather than sculpture. By adding a textile outer skin as a sunshade, a utility, a scale, and tying it into a context, the structure becomes a temporary architectural pavilion. 

The Tensegrity Späti was situated in a small urban space on a pedestrian alley in front of the Inglesia de Santiago el Real, in the historic center of this small town. The 16th century church provides an ideal context that serves both as a point of reference and contrast to the light installation. The pavilion's open structure, which is light and ephemeral, was made from logs of stripped pine trees up to 7 meters long. These are connected with steel cables. A waterproof and recyclable fabric was used for the outer shell, into which a repetitive ornament was laser-cut. The pattern references the Gothic ceiling structure of the adjacent church.

During the six-day festival, the pavilion was furnished with a few stools, also made from logs, and a plywood table. Visitors to the exhibition were served beer to entice them to drop in, relax and enjoy themselves in a shady spot under the blue sky in the middle of the beautiful old town. 

The fully recyclable installation was disassembled into its basic components at the end of the festival. The poles and textile cover were given to local businesses/institutions for further use. The metal compounds were sent to Berlin and will be used in another Tensegrity pavilion.

Project Information

Barkow Leibinger, Berlin, Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger

Nicolai Junkers, Reidar Mester, Andreas Mohling


Pavilion, Group Exhibition


Logroño, Spain


April 27 - May 02, 2023


Concéntrico Festival

Consultant Structural Engineering
Knippers Helbig, Stuttgart 



Josema Cutillas

Drawings and model photos

Barkow Leibinger, Berlin