Final Pavilion Part 1: The Design

With a basic design in hand, there was only one more major hurdle to tackle: how should I make this into a pavilion? I had an idea – an inhabitable, interactive pod built from modules and locked in place by a centralized key – but now I needed to think bigger. How many of these pods should I have? How might they engage the site and each other? How then should a complete pavilion be formed?

At this point, the process simply boiled down to refining the design, and then expanding it to fill the site. I decided that even more opening needed to be done – the pods were still too constricted, and there was still too much wasted space. I blew up the scale – each module now sat at 6′ tall, 3′ wide, and anywhere from 6′ to 24′ long. After stacking these modules 2 to 4 stories high, I removed even more surfaces, opening the interior up further and allowing for a more natural flow through the space. I added stairs for accessibility to higher levels. Even the keys themselves changed – I created only one design, which was then rotated to sit differently within each pod. I found that the distinct modules slowly began to disappear, allowing for a more consolidated design within each pod.

Next came the site – I needed a way to activate the pavilion’s location, allowing for a complete and thorough interaction between ground and structure. Yet the decidedly rectilinear forms of my pods continuously clashed with the rigid triangle of the site. And then it hit me: Rather than fighting this juxtaposition, perhaps that’s how the pavilion wants to be. The reason the site is so triangular is due to an external conflict – that of the two main grids of the city. Most of the city follows a distinct grid pattern – north-south along the Hudson River. But in this section, the river turns slightly to the west, resulting in two conflicting grids. Why not capitalize on this? I laid out five or six pods across the two grids, creating a centralized area encircled by my structures. To help the pods interact even more with the site, I abandoned the idea of them being strictly movable (as that would require a flat and ultimately boring site plan), allowing some pods to sink into or rise out of the ground itself. This created a natural wave across the site, again following the two grids.

Time for some renderings! These are always helpful for me to visualize exactly what I am going to be building before I go ahead and create the final model.

Next up: Construction Time!

Materials & Design (2) – Curious Concrete

While the rest of my pavilion work stumbled (eventually successfully) along, Materials and Design was also shifting gears. Following our return from a (very short) spring break, our focus was turned from the formation of basic structures to the materials that make them up. The entire class was divided into 12 or so groups, to cover a wide variety of materials – mine was given concrete. Each group would then go out and explore their material in a multitude of forms, taking photographs and documenting how it is affected by light, moisture, time, weather, etc. We were also asked to research the material extensively, from not only it’s composition, but where it comes from and how it is used (with architectural examples). The idea being that, at the end of the semester, all the materials would be combined into a handbook, which would then be properly printed and a copy distributed to each of us. I have yet to see this handbook, but hopefully it will appear at some point soon.

Below I have attached the ten final photographs that my group submitted. These photos were jointly taken by myself, along with fellow classmates Erik, Jesse, Royd, and Aaron.