Who Is Queen? Adam Pendleton

Working through an iterative design process with the project team, we fabricated three 60-foot tall lumber scaffold structures for Adam Pendleton’s exhibition, “Who Is Queen?”, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The custom painted scaffold system was developed by the artist with Frederick Tang Architecture for a monumental presence in MoMA’s The Donald and Catherine Marron Family Atrium. Aside from the distinct engineering challenges posed by its impressive scale, the structure- composed of a modular system we developed- also integrates a variety of the artist’s artwork and theatrical equipment as a complete installation for one of New York City’s historic cultural institutions.

To begin the process, we fabricated a scale model for Pendleton’s team to visualize the aesthetic detailing and careful installation into MoMA’s atrium. After reviewing with the artist, we produced and erected a full-scale mockup of four scaffolding units at our shop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for developing fabrication methods and installation sequence and making design revisions.

Because of the artist’s vision to use non-standard dimensions and precise edge profiles, we carefully sourced custom milled douglas fir beams instead of using off-the-shelf products. We worked through each connection and detail to ensure the installation met with the artist's standards—including how members were mechanically fastened and how the visual impact of hardware could be minimized.

Working iteratively with 3D models, our project management team refined the scaffold to be built and erected safely but quickly within the museum atrium. Though seemingly repetitive in appearance, the modular scaffold towers are actually composed of unique sections, measuring close to 12’H x 6’W x 3’D, each with their own complex connection conditions.

With thoughtful and precise project management, digital development and fabrication, we provided necessary solutions to realize an elegant but ambitiously scaled artwork that occupies one of New York City’s most widely visited cultural institutions; bringing together art and innovation to visitors from around the world.


Adam Pendleton


The Museum of Modern Art


New York, NY




Courtesy of the artist and The Museum of Modern Art


Frederick Tang Architecture
The Museum of Modern Art
Silman Engineering
Daedalus Design & Production
KC Fabrications