The term “pavilion” derives from the Latin word for a “butterfly” and evokes an architecture that celebrates the contrast between permanence and permeance. From the Porch of the Caryatids in the Acropolis - built to hide the visual impact of a very deep temple beam- to the Barcelona Pavilion – an expression of the power of minimalist modernism to express continuous space - this inherently architectural duality has inspired a rich history of pavilions that are, often, buildings abut architecture. Commissioned by Design Joburg to build a pavilion to exhibit the power and depth of architectural design in South Africa, SAOTA, ARRCC, and OKHA took this concept to a further extreme by delivering an architecture that is about Architecture and Architects (and their architecture!). The plan is a fundamental device; a wall turns four corners, the resultant enclosure is, clearly, A Space. The wall is given depth, and the threshold into the space is thereby celebrated. Proportion is identified through the height and thickness of the walls and its contrast with a delicate roof. Multiple cuts are made into the thick wall, emphasizing its depth whilst simultaneously dematerializing its weight.
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