When creating a temporary pavilions, various ideas regarding permanence, temporality, and interactivity can be employed to create a desired effect. Often, the architect of these lightweight structures fails to embrace the temporary nature inherently related to such projects. Through use of traditional building materials, pavilion architecture is often fashioned as an architecture that can (and does) exist beyond its intended lifespan in conflict with the temporary nature of the event for which it was created. This installation by MOS Architects challenges this notion in its fundamental approach to temporary architecture.
Created for the 2010 Venice Biennale, a series of silver helium-filled mylar weather balloons are tethered to the ground with green straps. These balloons exist in a confined environment at varying densities.
Low curvilinear white benches invite visitors to meander through the pavilion. This lightweight material logic produces a field that contains interesting atmospheric qualities in its relationship to the surrounding environment with minimal cost, environmental impact, and material complexity.
From a distance, the canopy acts similarly to the environment that borders the installation. Not only are the clusters of balloons formally reminiscent to the structure of trees, but the reflective nature of the balloons makes the structure similar in coloration to the surrounding environment.
Depending on the time of day and amount of sunlight, the structure’s appearance is constantly changing. The amount of wind present in the area also contributes to the overall appearance of the pavilion and gives it movement not dissimilar to that of the visitors beneath it.
The project also has sustainable ambitions in its overall construction, that parallel the way in which it exists. “This type of project is like diet-architecture,” the project’s description reads. “ has a small carbon footprint. It barely even exists. It’s an urban figment.” Only three elements create the pavilion; the balloons, the ropes, and the benches do a lot to produce an interesting space creates a range of experiences within it without over stepping its bounds.
Ultimately, The project is true to the essence of the pavilion typology in addition to addressing materials and its environment in a fluid way.