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!


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