Boston, MA

Boston Society of Architects, Step 7: Our Fathers at Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building


The 2015 exhibition, Bigger than a Breadbox, Smaller than a Building, featured large-scale installations in the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Space. SGH provided structural engineering and materials science services for the three main installations. With each installation the designers investigated and tested new technologies and building techniques, while creating a visually arresting and sculptural piece.

With Step 7: Our Fathers, Ibañez Kim investigated methods for creating volume and spaces. As visitors bowed down to enter the installation, they triggered sensors, including a blinding light and the recorded voices of renowned modernist architects (or our fathers: Johnson, Aalto, Mies, Pei, Tange, Luis Sert, Neimeyer, and Gropius), revealing their visions for the future.


Ibañez Kim chose to clad the structure with an Okoume veneer over a timber frame. SGH analyzed the form directly from the artists’ three-dimensional model. We assisted the design team by providing recommendations for the layout, sizing members, and detailing connections. The form’s weight distribution made it apt to tip over, but the exhibit precluded the teams from connecting to the existing slab. SGH helped the design team by identifying areas where they should add weight and determining locations where they needed to connect the installation to the base to ensure it was stable.


Ibañez Kim digitally fabricated the sculpture and the installation was in place from June through October 2015.

Project Summary



Completion Date
New Construction
Culture & Entertainment
Ibañez Kim

Key team members

Paul Kassabian
Paul Kassabian