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project no.9: folded pavilion

The Folded Pavilion is a project intended for situation in the New Haven Beaver Pond Park, specifically at the entrance to the wooded paths. The twisted metal in the monochrome model is meant to represent the forest within the park, and the Pavilion is so located that it provides a funneling entrance to the woods. In order to achieve the act of funneling bodies into the pathways amid the trees, the Pavilion twists from a large, higher-up area that allows many to enter to the lower area which has a much smaller feel to it, forcing bodies to get closer as they begin on the tight trails.

The name of this design comes from the origami research that went into its creation. The Pavilion is made - at least in model form - of foam core cut into the shape of an elongated parallelogram, which is then sliced in a number of places with shifting angles and spacing. These slices, all made on one side of the board, then allow the parallelogram to be folded into the twisting shape that the entrance pavilion takes. The shape - especially in its black model form, against the white landscape - is meant to create a dramatic and dynamic statement against the relatively flat and mundane environment.

Part of the way the drama and momentum of the design is built, is through the entrance being comprised of one single corner of the large form touching the earth. It seemed to defy gravity in a startling way, enticing and scaring visitors in equal part. On the other hand, the side which begins to enter the forest touches the ground solidly, forcing visitors and occupants to interact with the architecture and walk atop - or even, in the case of the folded corner, sit atop - the shape.

While the model uses striking monochrome to increase the drama of the piece, the real creation of the Pavilion would be built of planes of concrete, which, still in contrast with the greenery of the park, would build its own kind of dynamism. How can such a heavy, weighty material defy gravity so elegantly, using only planes to create a twisting and swirling space. 

Part of what adds to the movement of the whole design is the way its smaller, shorter end begins to enter the woods and how the landscape, slowly descending into the park’s wooded trails, increases the momentum of the swirl. It not only moves one into the park, but also does so at a descent, forcing one to enter into this twisting area of shade and begin one’s journey.

All-in-all, the Pavilion creates an interesting piece of architecture for park-goers to see, to enter, and to interact with.

Foam core, acrylic paint, & steel galvanized wire.

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