Tuesday, April 13, 2010




We identified this recycled material as one which was in abundance in the specific site context of Circular Quay/CBD. It's design potentials were vast, and any negative issues associated with it were addressed (such as using waste/offcuts).


-available in large quantities - we have established several possible sources of cardboard tubes in the numbers which we require (roughly 2-3000). The company which we are currently looking into throws away more of these each day than I would care to mention.
-easily stacked/constructed
-great opportunity for off-site prefabrication
-porosity; addresses harsh winds/allows for 'modules' to be filled/act as display
-easy to cut
-child friendly (or much more so than our original proposal anyway which used metal tins & pvc piping)

What guided this design for the CH4 Sydney Architecture Festival pavilion was a focus on the use of a recycled material and its potential as an architectural constructional element, a celebration of the experimentation of form and function in architecture and a desire to generate unique and rich spatial experiences.

The design process began with an identification of recyclable materials and determining its validity for the site and as a constructional element for the pavilion. Ultimately we settled on cylindrical hollow tins, PVC and cardboard tubing, in an attempt to create a visual unity or cohesion in the pavilion. An important consideration which we recognised early was the potential for the pavilion to read as a motley assortment of scrap, so choosing a single element was significant in creating a visual order.

The initial scheme which we developed on site had a brutal sense of ad-hocism as we considered an architectural pavilion which was responsive to sun, wind and rain on site whilst having a definite and noticeable sense of architectural expression. In essence we proposed a design of a monolithic curving wall attached to a cantilevered or gable roof structure which was comprised of varied hollowed tubes of recycled tin, PVC and cardboard. Environmental constraints on site we addressed in this scheme such as shelter from sun and rain and wind resistance in the structure which was achieved in the perforated wall provided by the hollowed tubes. The concept for this scheme revolved around a desire to design a pavilion which was very architecturally expressive in both the immediate visual form and the function of the space. This manifested itself into a monolithic curved wall which separated space in a dynamic manner, generating a shifting spatial experience of openness and enclosure.
The development of the scheme into its present form came from a greater consideration of spatial experience and public engagement. An emphasis on creating a defined and fluid circulation through the pavilion and a rich spatial experience informed this design.

Following from precedent analysis we acknowledged a unique potential in the recycled cardboard tubes to provide a distinct, direct view whilst all other views are blocked by their oblique angles. This creates a constantly changing sense of space within the structure as only certain views are revealed at certain places, and are stitched together in ones movement through the space.
A dialogue between exteriority and interiority is conveyed in a unique way which could only be achieved using a hollow element such as cardboard tubing. When viewed externally one is prompted to consider how the fanning, splaying tubes form an enclosed interior space. Conversely, when viewed from the interior one is forced to acknowledge the exterior, as the walls point in every direction, to what is outside. This has a unique impact on the inhabitant on the space as their views are opened up to something which was not previously considered.

The function of the pavilion as a festival activity space for children was another aspect which rationalised the use of hollow cardboard tubing as structure. A liveliness and playfulness is inspired as children look and talk to each other through the tubes, through the walls.

(this has already come under scrutiny by the team and is most definitely likely to be altered. The rough idea of two half-circles joined by a central 'wall' is, however, most likely to remain).


PHYSICAL MODEL - partial curved wall element (not full height)

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