Pavilions in architecture refer to the sub-structures within the premises of a building complex generally built as a pleasure space – for exhibitions and galleries, for capturing good views, being used in gardens for leisure, and so on. Pavilions are either temporary structures or permanent structures. With time, pavilions have undergone transition. From being visualized only in palatial mansions, pavilions have become a part of urban living – serving as a social puncture in the dense urban fabric.
Pavilions and temporary structures have a striking relevance in society today. They help shape the public spaces and bear an impact on the minds of the citizens. In recent times, designers and architects have used pavilions and temporary structures in cities to throw light on critical issues of public concern.
Temporary structures have also served as the go-to solution during emergencies like the infamous 2020 pandemic. The rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in March 2020 led various countries to create temporary structures to accommodate the growing number of patients. The efficiency of these temporary structures enabled the countries to tackle the problem smartly.
Following are ten examples of temporary structures and pavilions that showcase the diversity in their intent and usage while experimenting with materials, forms, and colors.
1. Bookworm Pavilion – Mumbai
Designed by – NUDES
About 3,600 modular components were fabricated to put this ‘gliding bookworm’ together. As the name suggests, the pavilion was conceptualized to encourage reading amongst youngsters and adults alike. The modular components use recycled plywood that has a low carbon footprint.
2. Prefabricated Vaccination Pavilions – Italy
Designed by – Stefano Boeri Architects
Stefano Boeri Architects have designed circular glowing boxes to be installed at about 1,500 Piazzas in Italy to serve as Covid-19 vaccination camps. These fully-recyclable circular pavilions can be completely dismantled and relocated.
3. Sarbalé Ke – Indio
Designed by – Francis Kéré, Kéré Architecture
12 colorful towers varying in height and diameter, scattered around to facilitate spaces for meeting, resting, and the guiding landmarks in the lively festival of Coachella, 2019. It was named ‘Sarbalé Ke’ that translates to ‘House of Celebration’. The installation added a pop of color to the existing pomp of the festival.
4. Poem Pavilion – Expo 2020, Dubai
Designed by – Es Devlin
Expo 2020, Dubai (now moved to October 2021 due to Covid-19) will see this massive conical pavilion shooting out off the ground. The cone-like structure will be made of communicative LED panels which will use Artificial Intelligence to generate and display poems. ‘Message to space’ – an idea derived from one of Stephen Hawking’s final projects, ‘breakthrough message’ forms the basis of the concept.
5. Circular Garden Pavilion – Porto
Designed by – Diogo Aguiar Studio
Two concentric wooden circles formed the pavilion in a cultural institution designed by Álvaro Siza in the city. The curvilinear façades control the incoming natural light and aid in keeping the interior dark enough to host film screenings.
6. Green Cloud – China
Designed by – ZHUBO-AAO
A system of modular cubes is fixed together in a random fashion installed atop roofs of residences in dense urban areas to revive greenery in the ever-growing Chinese cities. Easy installation of these modules will lead to rapid copying and an increase in the green and comfortable spaces for residents.
7. Second Home Serpentine Pavilion – Los Angeles
Designed by – SelgasCano
This brightly illuminated tunnel-like pavilion gives visitors a one-of-a-kind experience in architecture through shape, form, light, transparency, and materials. The pavilion was originally erected in 2015 in London’s Kensington Gardens and then relocated to L.A.’s La Brea Tar Pits. The temporary structure resembles a chrysalis clad in translucent, multicolored fabric.
8. Upcycled Pavilion – Mexico
Designed by – BNKR Arquitectura
The Upcycled Pavilion was a temporary structure constructed for Expo CIHAC – 2012. The whole installation was done on-site with around 5000 Coca-Cola crates to spread awareness about upcycling and to demonstrate how good design can come out of waste and less money, or in this case, no money at all.
This pavilion was used in the expo to serve as a cafeteria. The crates were used to create elegant curves that gave the structure fluidity despite using a rigid shape for the modules.
9. Biobasecamp Pavilion – Eindhoven
Designed by – Studio Marco Vermeulen
A timber structure was built to demonstrate the structural possibilities of the material in an attempt to urge more sustainable construction. The pavilion acts as an interactive space for the citizens as it invites visitors to the exhibition on the ground level or to climb up to the roof level for taking a breather within their busy schedules.
The structure is built with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and is said to lower CO2 and nitrogen amounts in the air to work against the dooming climate change.
10. Serpentine Pavilion 2018 – London
Designed by – Frida Escobedo
Frida’s Serpentine Pavilion in 2018 was a structure fabricated from a lattice of cement roof tiles. The said material was chosen for its dark color and jagged texture. The cement roof tiled structure forms a breeze wall generic in Mexican architecture. This surface “blurs the surrounding park and the Serpentine Gallery.”
The pavilion with its irregular shapes and forms was meant to encourage play, circulation, conversation, and contemplation.