Wind Portal

Najla El Zein Studio
London Design Week, UK

1© Najla El Zein Studio

The Wind Portal is a walk through installation that represents a transition space from an inside to an outside area. It defines an exaggeration of a specific sensorial moment that each one of us experiences throughout our daily lives.

Created by Najla El Zein Studio in conjunction with lighting designer Maurice Asso from Hilights, The Wind Portal is a new interactive artwork of 5,000 paper windmills installed in an imposing 8 ft. doorway inside the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


From the Artist ” Wind and sound, are the elements that makes us understand our environmental context.”

Through The Wind Portal installation, shaped as a monumental gate of 8 meters high and composed of thousands of paper windmills that spin thanks to an integrated wind system, the aim was to make our visitors feel, hear and be aware of the action of transitioning through two spaces.

Visitors are invited to walk through the two wedges of poles in the eight-meter-high gateway, which is positioned between a stairwell and the Day-lit Gallery of the V&A museum.


The wind portal tries to grasp and emphasize on common emotions and senses that are often forgotten.
Its architectural shape works as a “trompe oeil” effect which, according to the angle you are positioned from, one would perceive the gate as being closed. As soon as you approach it, the gate seems to open up.

The installation blends in 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.
Different flows of wind are programmed resulting into different speeds, sounds and feelings. The light, which seems to play with the wind flow, gives us an impression of a breathing piece. Indeed, the gate breathes in and out, where wind is its main source of life.

Wind Portal was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum for London Design Festival and will be on display until 3 November 2013.



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