Living Pavilion Dispatch #5: It Stands!

about 1/3 of the pavilion is built
more pics here

This weekend the Living Pavilion became a proto-building and not just an intense pile of planted milk crates. Ultimately it will have 23 ribs, be 30 ft long, and undulate between 9 and 12 feet tall. The deadline is looming but progress seems to be on track. Figment is placing a stage inside where dance performances are scheduled for the first day of the festival this Friday.

By the last ferry on Sunday we were almost 1/3 of the way there with eight ribs up. Each arc sandwiches a row of milk crates that are bolted in. Our structural engineer Yunlu did all the math and was confident that the design would be sound, but I think until we got to this point we were all a little nervous. Sunday was the day when all the structural engineers came out to play with us.

The crates form a pixelated pattern that switch between planted modules and empty skylight boxes. The design has changed since the original proposal, but its amazing how nicely the texture and gestures match the renderings, and hanging plants are beautiful when they blow in the breeze. Part of the original call for entries asked for a structure that would provide shelter. The crate matrix was only partially protective when a brief thunderstorm hit, but proves cool and shady in the hot sun. Spatially the pavilion feels very nice to be inside. It’s already large enough to stretch out and walk around in, and feels both familiar with its naturalistic elements and intriguing by the plants’ unusual direction. One volunteer felt like she was in a wedding chapel.

A huge crew came out to support us this weekend. Thank you volunteers: Vanesa Alicia, Jessica Sheridan, David & Shirley Menokovich, Amanda Rivera, Tes Rivera, Eve Dilworth, Zohn Rosen, Jamie Kiburz, Dillon Font, Nick Dellano, Margaret Murray, Martina Gawrych, Yunlu Shen, Steve Koller, Nick Hohn, Shamil Lallani, Matthew Moser, Andy Beck, Nicholas Warner, Misael Rojas & Natalie, Kayla Soo-Youn Kim, Nina Mahjoub, Paul Laroque, Lourdes Saladino, Rebecca Jones, Shinjinee Pathak, Irmak Turan, and Scott Miller.

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About Daniela

Daniela Morell holds a Masters in Architectural Science with a concentration in Built Ecologies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Architecture Science and Ecology in New York City. Her writing, research, and design work is guided by a value system for sustainability that includes both the responsible use of energy and material resources, as well as the social need for design to inspire more ecologically balanced living.
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