The Wind Portal by Lebanese designer Najla El Zein features 5,000 spinning paper windmills in a doorway at the V&A museum. The walk-through installation, which was made for the London Design Festival, creates a playful airway that draws wind and light into the galleries beyond.
Each windmill in the 8-meter high gateway was folded by hand and attached to tubes which release air, causing the installation to float and ripple. The huge moving structure is imposing yet delicate and ephemeral due to the material used.
El Zein was inspired by the V&A’s day-lit gallery, which is home to a collection of Medieval and Renaissance urban architecture. By introducing the element of wind, she emphasizes the concept of this artificial outside space within the museum. The Wind Portal represents a transition space for visitors who can walk from an inside space to an ‘outside’ area.
The installation blends different technologies and materials such as hand-folded paper windmills, hand sculpted wooden joints, 3d printed clips, and a complex wind and light computerized system. Click through to see pictures of the Wind Portal: