Architects: Atelier Zündel Cristea
Location: Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London, UK
Constructor: TP Arquitectura i Construccio Tèxtil
Exhibition Period: May/June 2013
Photographs: Sergio Grazia
Enhancing the experience of the city does not always require projects of significant cost and time, but can often come about as the result of modest, temporary interventions and events, in key places, at chosen times. Our office is dedicated to the conception of interventions likely to appeal to city residents, transforming the way in which they view the places around them and the practices possible in their cities.
Human beings carry within them nostalgia of a primordial happiness from ancient times. The notion of a return to these origins of happiness is often associated with Nature. Our intention is to encourage inhabitants to participate in fun, uncommon events taking place within the urban landscape: an inflatable bridge equipped with giant trampolines rises above the Seine, a pavilion erected in a London park, a museum traversed by a roller coaster.
These projects offer, in the heart of the city, new forms of Elysian Fields, given over not to the Champs-Élysées of shopping and strictly urban activities, but rather to fundamental human practices, which liberate strong emotions calling on all our senses.
The site of this competition is the Museum Gardens, Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green, London. It lies within the Tower Hamlets and Hackney boroughs. The gardens are on the English Heritage Register for Historic Parks and Gardens. It is approximately 1.05 hectares in size and is surrounded by: Cambridge Heath Road, Museum Passage, V&A Museum of Childhood, St John’s Church and Victoria Park Square. The site’s main use is as a recreational garden for living, working and visiting communities. Given it’s prominence within the community it serves, it is clear to us that it is important that the most is made of the site through our pavilion.
Our project responds to the desire to create a temporary transportable pavilion for the summer of 2013 in such a public space, with a need for inclusion, socializing, relaxation, discussion, reflection, escape, view and enjoyment of a high quality space.
It will provide an inspirational space where visiting architects, designers, families and the general public can stand and sit whilst admiring, embracing diversity and engaging with each other in discussions about design, the importance and benefits of peace and co-existence, or even novel stories they have to tell in a peaceful setting.
The Museum Gardens, and nature in general are the perfect settings to promote the idea of peace, to encourage the sharing of joyful stories and provoking discussions about architecture and design.
We propose a Pavilion which is visually and aesthetically engaging. We think it is capable of providing an ideal contemporary space which offers a sense of tranquility, beauty and an exceptional aesthetic value to the very heart of the Museum Gardens.
Peace is one of the highest possible human ideals. It is a state of equilibrium; it means NO WAR, but also harmony, silence, pureness, kindness, happiness, appeasement, calm, reconciliation, serendipity, tranquility… To express all of these ideas, we have created a perfect and symmetrical sculpture, obtained by a precise geometrical manipulation. The beauty of the shape lies in its perfect symmetry and fluidity; we feel there is no need to explain it a great deal as it is a pavilion that speaks to everyone. It allows visitors looking at the volume for a split second to get a sense of the pavilion and its layout with minimum effort. The symmetrical geometry of the pavilion blurs our notions of inside and outside, however the simple act of motion through the exterior and interior spaces of the pavilion bringing an understanding to the visitor.
The Pavilion is 4 meters in height and 20 Square meters in area. Designed entirely with lightweight materials – 77.96m² of PVC membrane and 20m3 of air – our project is a selfsupporting structure; it is easily scalable to inhabit larger dimensions of other sites.
To achieve such an apparently complex shape, we unite advanced tools of parametric design: in the study of tensile membranes and in the geometric conception of double curved surfaces, and digital fabrication: in the accurate manufacturing of the pavilion using CNC cutting machines.