Pavilion Morphology – Space between the Materials
Pavilion Morphology – Space between the Materials_Gihan Karunaratne
Typically, a pavilion is a small structure or monument and it can represent a cultural setting, an exhibition space, gathering place or an event. The defining feature is the temporal nature of its occupation of a site and its consequent legacy of a limited physical and ephemeral archetypal design imprint.
For architects and designers, the pavilion can provide a prototypical stepping stone or an apparatus for ideas and solutions which can later be expanded upon in differently scaled and more permanent buildings. The pavilion further affords the opportunity to not only test new materials or material combinations, but also to try out theoretical and conceptual ideas in combination with these more pragmatic elements.
In this type of temporary architecture, many of the usual technical and planning constraints and challenges do not apply. Before a new form of architecture can be realized, temporary pavilion typologies are ideal ways to experiment – to push and blur the boundaries of architectural language. Pavilion design and construction is a means of engaging in architecture where human interaction is the key: a place becomes a space, which may be truly democratic in its nature, or at least a freer form of expression.
Humanitarian architecture, in which architects apply inventive methods to the tasks of rebuilding and restoring communities after a natural or civil disaster, is an emerging field of design typified by collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice. The genre presents urgent opportunities to experiment with the pavilion type.
When Time Jumps through the Roof
When Time Jumps through the Roof_Herbert Wright
The preservation of historically significant (and usually listed) buildings can clash with the need to change its use and provide a contemporary quality internal environment. Repurposing buildings has become mainstream architectural practice, but the simple need for more space may require a new extension volume. However, extending the footprint is not always an option. In the case of listed buildings, the aesthetics of the old building itself may be the issue – its perimeter and shape have fundamental historic value, which would be compromised by horizontal extension.
The architectural solution is to preserve the historic structure but extend it purely within the vertical. Designing the resulting hybrid structure gives the architect opportunity to contrast contemporary and old architecture. The interface between the two is usually at the roofline of the historic structure.
Building new on old does more than just re-animate what has become redundant and add new functionality. The architect’s imagination is free to play visual games that create impact and draw attention, and that can create a presence in the wider urban landscape and the life of the city. This article summarises some of the precedents for creating historically stratified buildings, and then looks at five contemporary examples.
New Configurations for Urban Landmarks
New Configurations for Urban Landmarks_Silvio Carta
strict digital sense, the basic entities would be the I/O digits that translate everything into a series of binary information. If we apply this to architecture, where a solid volume can be broken down into a series of modular elements, one may appreciate the parallel with the principle of digitalisation.
Complex and large-scale programmes often require being articulated within the same massive volume. In Delirious New York (1978), Rem Koolhaas examined the nature of skyscrapers as containers of different activities within the same envelope, with a solid and uniform appearance. To a certain extent, OMA’s skyscraper project De Rotterdam (2013) still embodies the idea of the vertical city, where complexity (of spaces, programmes and activities) is wrapped in the same shell. For their shape and size, these massive complexes become urban landmarks, and their image is recognisable often at the global scale. However, increasingly new buildings are required to incorporate a variety of activities that exceed their physical boundaries. The functions they are designed to host are entangled with the urban life of the city that flows from and within other buildings, streets and squares. But how does this all happen?