A Pavilion in the Park. Make Mine Fabric

Heading up to Build Boston to talk about my favorite subject, Fabric Architecture.

I’ve decided to give out an assigment as part of the seminar which requires each attendee to come up with a pavilion in a park. The purpose is to create a pavilion that is aesthetically pleasing and functional and, most important, cost effective.

It has to be financially sound and generate money for a park “needing” new ways to support itself.

Sound familiar?

In doing some reseach, I came upon three unique structures which are now together in my hard drive.

Studio Gang got some recent press for their South Bond Education Pavilion in Chicago. Inspired by the tortoise shell, its laminated structure consists of prefabricated, bent-wood members and a series of interconnected fiberglass pods that give global curvature to the surface.

In the mid 1980s, architect Renzo Piano developed a beautiful modular pavilion for the display of IBM products. It was set up in various cities across Europe (Lyons, London, York, Rome, Milan) to the backdrop of famous architectural sites.

The structure is of particular interest structurally, as it is composed of three main repeating elements: a cast aluminum joint, a short laminated wooden beam, and a clear polycarbonate pyramid. The pyramids nest for efficient transportation – but more amazingly, they play the role of cross-braces in a truss, both laterally and axially.

Future Systems designed the MOMI hospitality tent  for the National Film Theatre on London’s South Bank. It was envisaged as a lightweight, yet dramatic structure for repeated use. Six people can erect and dismantle it over two days. The tent has a raised floor assembly of aluminium panels, concealing the electrical services that rest on steel beams levelled by jacks. Its white Tenera fabric membrane is stretched between pairs of inclined arches formed with 32mm GRP rods, with a braced inclined arch at either end attached to a steel floor-edge beam for stability. The ribs are stabilized with steel struts and tension cables.

Take a guess which one cost the most and which cost the least and where are they now?


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