OUE Artling PAvilion

Competition Entry to OUE Artling Archipavilion Design Competition 2014


Designed as a white sculpture floating on the lawn, the OUE Artling Pavilion seeks to create an iconic space that resonates physically and emotionally with the urban dweller, merging architecture and art as one, becoming both the container of art as well as the art itself. Inspired by the impressive elements of nature such as the majestic banyan tree with its long hanging roots and the stalactites of caves, as well as the responsiveness and lightness of wind chimes, the pavilion seeks to evokes subtle connections with nature in an urban contemporary city through its undulating forms comprised of modular rods that gently respond to their surroundings. As such, the interior spaces are infused with the transient elements of wind and light to form a calming ambience and awareness of the outside surroundings.

Light filters through a 3-dimensioned roof "trellis" comprising loosely hung circular pipes of varying lengths, creating dramatic light and shadows which transforms throughout the day. This interplay of light and wind is heightened by the swaying of the pipes from the ever present sea-breeze. As one enters the space carved out by the overhanging rods, one experiences a sensual cacophony of light, shadow and movement. The length of each rod is determined by a guiding waveform that rises and descends 3 dimensionally. The wave rises from the ground where the public programs are and descends where the closed programs are. These pipes are also functional, becoming simultaneously the roof trellis, screens and the structure, giving the pipes further use and meaning.

Instead of compacting the spaces all together in a tight footprint, the closed and open spaces are distributed over the site creating open in-between spaces where the public programs will be. This creates a more inviting form to draw people closer: to roam, explore and occupy. The closed rooms sit above the existing lawn and certain portions of the lawn under the roofed portion is retained, with minimal platforms added for the circulation and publics spaces. This preserves the original lawn as much as possible. Blurring of boundaries between the inside and outside is created by the lightness of the pipes and the infiltration of the lawn into the pavilion.

The spaces are layered to create a sense of approach. A semi-enclosed space with light filtering through the pipes serves as the foyer, giving the passersby a glimpse of the activity in this art pavilion. Going past the foyer, at the central area of the exhibition space, hangs dramatic circular acrylic rods from the ceiling, creating a dramatic lighting feature under which the user can sit and contemplate the art. Here, the walls, floors and ceilings are rendered a monolithic black color, with the artworks lit via spotlights which hang from the ceiling. This draws one attention to and provides visual emphasis for the exhibits.

Other than the circular pipes which can either be white PVC pipes or metal pipes powder-coated based on the available budget, all other components will be using local construction systems used typically for temporary structures. This keeps the cost low and reduces the complexity of the overall construction. Metal post and trussed beams provide the structural frame upon which canvas roofs are laid over. Clear polyethylene film is used for the transparent enclosures of the rooms and the roof of the open spaces. Plywood flooring is laid on battens with white epoxy finish or low-cost carpet for the closed spaces. All the various parts can be easily disassembled and reassembled elsewhere.