House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 2 of 29House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 3 of 29House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 4 of 29House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 5 of 29House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - More Images+ 24

  • Architects: GELPI PROJECTS
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2015
  • Photographs
    Photographs:Ryan Debolski
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers:  AllRout
  • ARTIST: Markus Linnenbrink
  • ENGINEERING: Homestead Florida, Sunset Building solutions, Alex Merlano
  • STEEL FABRICATION: Derek Thompson
  • CNC FABRICATION: Marc Vlietstra, All Rout Inc, Zeeland Michigan
  • CLIENT: Wasserman Projects
  • SIZE: 24’ x 25’overall, or the size of a small house
  • Architect In Charge: GELPI PROJECTS, Nick Gelpi
  • Design Team: Dean McMurry, Alvaro Membreno, Maria Flores
  • Engineering: Alex Merlano, Sunset Building solutions, Homestead Florida
  • Steel Fabrication: Derek Thompson, Detroit Michigan
  • Cnc Fabrication: Marc Vlietstra, All Rout, Inc, Zeeland Michigan
  • City: Detroit
  • Country: United States
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House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 4 of 29
© Ryan Debolski

Text description provided by the architects. This pavilion was designed to be painted...

Conceived of as an inhabitable painting in the shape of a house, the familiar form of the pavilion blurs the surfaces between the walls of a building and the painting displayed upon it.

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 2 of 29
© Ryan Debolski

The shape of the pavilion lends it a recognizable identity as a piece of domestic architecture, in which the art hung on its walls has assumed the identity of the structure by overtaking the house, and blurring the boundary between art and architecture. 

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Facade
Courtesy of Gelpi Projects

In this way the pavilion challenges the typical modes of art display, by reversing the hierarchy, whereby paintings are typically hung on walls. Here the pavilion emerges out of the compositional folds of the painting itself.  What results is an ambiguous figure, almost a house, almost a painting, maybe a sculpture, but not quite the right size.

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 7 of 29
Courtesy of Gelpi Projects

On the exterior, the painting bleeds through the surface as a series of engraved lines.  The engravings resemble typical exterior siding while at other times morph into meandering lines turning against the grain of the pavilion's folds. 


The pavilion is built in two symmetrical halves on a steel frame with Detroit sourced industrial casters and is designed to be split open along a central seam. When opened the two halves create a space in between, allowing the surrounding environment to flow into the pavilion, and when closed they create an immersive interior environment, which is optically difficult to comprehend.

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 10 of 29
Courtesy of Gelpi Projects

The pavilion was also intended to exhibit the collaborative process itself. Formally, the pavilion was designed to act as a piece of inhabitable art and architecture, whose shape is drawn from the compositional strategies of the painter and the form making strategies of the architect. 


The process of collaboration involved the integration of the architect’s form and the artist’s composition.  Each collaborator worked simultaneously with lines of pattern and folds integrating both into a single immersive field.  Small scale sketches were enlarged to the scale of a building in an otherwise absurd act, and fabricated at the domestic scale of a house. This new synthesis in the pavilion serves to blur boundaries and find possibilities for new experiences between art and architecture.

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 5 of 29
Courtesy of Gelpi Projects

The pavilion was to be constructed of standard residential wood framing on 16 inch spacing, joined with lasercut steel gusset plates. Birch plywood panels were machined with grooves on the exterior displaying the underlying composition of the interior painting.

House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS - Image 6 of 29
Courtesy of Gelpi Projects

Visitors to the gallery observe flat works of art hung on the walls, and when they encounter the freestanding pavilion are invited to enter inside where they become immersed within a 3 dimensional spatial painting.  On the exterior, users explore the undulating folds of the plywood surfaces, peering inside through small windows strangely positioned within the compositional engravings of the exterior.  Each of the individual openings frames a unique perspective of the pavilion’s interior, some low and some tall, creating a variety of unique views extracted from a single composition based on privileged perspectives in space.


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Project location

Address:Detroit, MI, United States

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "House Paint Pavilion / GELPI PROJECTS" 31 Mar 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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