Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion / Zaha Hadid Architects

© Stefan Tuchila

Photographer Stefan Tuchila recently shared with us his images of the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects. Designed for Chanel the pavilion traveled all over the world, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York until reaching it’s final stop at L’Institut du Monde Araba in Paris.

Materials for the pavilion include: a façade constructed from fibre re-inforced plastic, the roof PVC, ETFE roof lights, the primary structure was created from 74t steel and has over 1752 different steel connections, and the secondary structure consists of aluminium extrusions.

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Paris,
Client: Chanel; Chanel Mobile Art
Project Area: 29 x 45 m, a total of 700 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographer: Stefan Tuchila

© Stefan Tuchila

The form of the 700 sqm Chanel Pavilion is a celebration of the iconic work of Chanel, unmistakeable for its smooth layering of exquisite details that together create an elegant, cohesive whole. The resulting functional, and versatile architectural structure of the Pavilion is a series of continuous arch shaped elements, with a courtyard in its central space. Artificial light behind the translucent ceiling washes the walls to emphasize the ‘arched’ structure, and assists in the creation of a new artificial landscape for art installations. A large roof light opening dramatically floods the entrance in daylight to blur the relationship between interior and exterior. In addition to the lighting and color effects, the spatial rhythm created by the seams of each segment gives strong perspective views throughout the interior.

© Stefan Tuchila

The 65 sqm central courtyard has large transparent openings to the sky above and is designed to host events as well as provide an area for reflection after visiting the exhibition. The courtyard serves as an intermediate space between the exhibition and public area of the Pavilion. In light of the extensive shipping between cities, the steel structure has been designed to be built in under one week, which is essential for an ephemeral pavilion. With a direct visual connection to the courtyard, the 128 sqm terrace continues the dialogue between the Pavilion’s exterior and interior. During an event, the two spaces can be linked to become one large event zone.

© Stefan Tuchila

Reflective materials allow the exterior skin to be illuminated with varying colors which can be tailored to the differing programmes of special events in each city. The dichotomy between the powerful sculptural mass of the Chanel Pavilion’s structure and the lightness of its envelope create a bold and enigmatic element. The Pavilion’s exterior develops into a rich variety of interior spaces that maximize the potential to reuse and rethink space due to the innate flexibility of its plan. The total fluidity of the Chanel Pavilion’s curvilinear geometries is an obvious continuation of Hadid’s 30-years of exploration and research into systems of continuous transformations and smooth transitions. With this repertoire of morphology, Zaha Hadid is able to translate the ephemeral typology of a pavilion into the sensual forms required for this celebration of Chanel’s cultural importance.

Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect: Thomas Vietzke, Jens Borstelmann
Project Team: Helen Lee, Claudia Wulf, Erhan Patat, Tetsuya Yamasaki, Daniel Fiser
Structural/Lighting/Project Management: ARUP
Cost/QS: David Langdon
Main Contractor/Tour Operator: ES Projects
FRP Manufacturer: Stage One Creative Services Ltd

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion / Zaha Hadid Architects" 16 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • Free Minimal

    Amazing !

  • skrilax

    technically impressive, but it’s just contemporary baroque. in the future it’ll be considered kitsch, i think.

    • Sudar Khadka

      you hit the nail on the head, baroque is the best word to describe it

    • drejer

      no, I think kitsch was the better word, some sort of cheap sci-fi movie set… really makes Monde Arabe look good!

      • Sudar Khadka

        agreed it is kitsch too, but baroque just seems more architectural

  • Henryb

    I’ve found a very good text about Hadid, I recommend to read it.