Pop-up architecture used to experiment with new concepts

Architects are using pop-up structures to experiment with new materials and concepts.

Pop-up structures such as restaurants, stores, kiosks and meeting places are spaces where people engage socially and commercially. They can also be used for architectural experiments in both form and materials.

Leon van Shaick, co-editor of the book “Pavillions, Pop-ups and Parasols” says:

“Temporary structures are one of the earliest symptoms of something new happening in architecture.”

Two Melbourne pavilions

Two pavilions using architectural experimentation are to be built in Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, Australia. Because of the relative low cost and the temporary nature of the pavilions, they are ideal projects to test out new concepts that may later be incorporated in more permanent buildings.

The MPavilion, designed by British architect Amanda Levete, resembles a forest with thin trunk-like columns supporting a translucent petal decorated canopy. This canopy is constructed from nautical fabrics and continues Levete’s boat building influence, first featured in the Media Centre which she designed for Lords cricket ground. At night, the lights of the city shine through the canopy, making the atmosphere inside feel different at night from the daytime.

An Australian architect, Leonard French has created the Great Hall, also in Victoria Gardens, which features a replica French stained glass ceiling. On sunlit days, people entering the structure will be saturated with vibrant colours created by the hue of the roof.

Easy to dismantle and erect

The other benefit of temporary structures is that they can be dismantled and erected at different locations. The MPavillion will be re-built in Melbourne at the end of next year.

Both pavilions feature music, talks, workshops and other events. Whilst these events will attract people to the buildings, they will also be open for people just to wander around to experience the innovative architecture.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
September 18, 2015

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