Youturn Pavilion / UNStudio

© UNStudio. Photography by Ding Musa

UNStudio shared their new pavilion for the 29th Art Biennale in Sao Paulo, with us.   The project is intended to encourage interaction between the participants and visitors by creating a place for display, discussion, and debate. An artistic expression that also functions programmatically, the pavilion embodies the dynamic geometry and spatial qualities common in the firm’s work (to compare, be sure to check out UNStudio’s New Amsterdam Pavilon or the Burnham Pavilion previously featured on AD).

More about the pavilion, including photographs by Ding Musa after the break.

© UNStudio

The exhibition includes a total of six ‘terrieros’ which form a circulation route across the display spaces. Visitors “find themselves traveling through spaces of expression, interpretation, and contemplation. These dynamic movements are formalized and transcribed into a design model, which in turn creates a dynamic space through the convergence of path and destination.”

© UNStudio. Photography by Ding Musa

The Youturn Pavilion examines the contrast between providing a space for solitude as well as a space of interaction by layering geometries to create a simple circle which sits within the more rigid exterior triangle. The centripetal movement and form of the structure wraps and encircles the users from the surrounding biennale, while simultaneously creating a central void; the focal point where all lines, surfaces and viewpoints converge.   Ben van Berkel commented, “We wanted to create an environment in which more can take place than simply experiencing the object itself. The object can then also become a dialogue machine.”

© UNStudio
© UNStudio

Youturn Pavilion – 29th Art Biennale , Brazil, 2010

Client: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Site: Pq. Ibirapuera – Portão 3 – Pavilhão da Bienal, 04094-000 – São Paulo – SP – BRASIL
Programme: Pavilion/Installation

UNStudio, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos with Christian Veddeler, Jordan Trachtenberg and Florian Licht

Building and Engineering:
p+p, Fuerth, Odenwald, Germany

Subsidy and sponsors:
The Netherlands Architecture Fund, Rotterdam
The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Amsterdam
Zumtobel Licht GmbH, Lemgo, Germany
p+p, Fuerth, Odenwald, Germany

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Youturn Pavilion / UNStudio" 25 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Ed

    Boring and already old fashioned…

  • zzzzz

    Great project!!!

  • morsalin


  • up_today_arch

    I,v cheked all pavilions of this team and find that all of them have central vertical axis and three- or four-part simmetry… controversion to Hadid pavilions which always asimmetrical…

  • kream

    Well done Jordan!

  • Rembo

    This thing is S. T. Rugglin!

    Further to @up_today’s comment, it’s interesting that UN has effectively made an industry of these pavilions. What the purpose of this industry is (as a series), I have no idea, and it seems that UN doesn’t either. At least they aren’t sharing, but are certainly cashing in.

    • j

      they learn much from these pavilions and integrate such architectural geometries into more functional spaces. they talk a little bit about that in a short documentary I found on youtube. its experimental in a sense. a learning process…a very expensive one :)

  • L

    Tell us how this is constructed, and what materials are used.

  • detdre

    difficult to design but a comfortabel space? no typical UnStudio

  • Trevdor

    I was thinking the same thing. I can’t imagine it’s a terribly expansive market, but I think it’s an absolutely vital one to try and start a Renaissance of interest in design for the public world. And I for one am thrilled that UN Studio is in the niche, as they have been doing a great job.

  • Cesar

    What a waste of energy and materials: “The project is intended to encourage interaction between the participants and visitors by creating a place for display, discussion, and debate”….really? do we need all that structure to make people have a conversation or a debate? how about a recycled table and chairs? or a public plaza?. For the sake of sustainability, let’s stop making useless “beautiful” things.

  • LUIS

    If we think just in function is not architecture. Cool and great project!