Metal Ribbon Wall at the Bell TIFF Lightbox

Metal Ribbon Wall at the Bell TIFF Lightbox

Fabrication Highlights:

• Custom bending machine made for ribbons • Powdercoated aluminum
• Full public interaction • Permanent installation


The Bell TIFF Lightbox building is one of Toronto's premier downtown residences. As you enter the residence lobby, there is a feature wall of silver metal ribbons that stretches from floor to ceiling. Built and installed by Great Lakes Scenic Studios, its fabrication required the deft hand of one of our most creative and skilled welders to help it take the physical form, as was envisioned by the designer.


When we were first presented with the concept illustration for the Ribbon Wall, we were excited by both the design aesthetic and the challenge that would go into the fabrication of the piece. Specifically, the challenge was to bend the metal strips of aluminum in a way that would look organic and natural, like ribbons twisted in play. Traditional metal bending machinery did not work well, as it was impossible to get the twists to look natural and even. Our Head Welder, Jacques LaFrance improvised a set of hydraulic bending machines custom-made for the project. One was attached to each end of the metal strip and torqued in opposite directions. This resulted in an evenly bent ribbon to be formed that had the air and whimsical look that was the design intent.

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