What goes into the design of a theoretical pavilion, for a real pavilion site? Our group wanted the final design to reflect our initial design intentions and guiding principles. This process started with the creation of such principles, including:
- A pavilion is a temporary building, and due to its temporal role, the materials that it is made out of need to be replenishable, cyclical materials.
- It is important that the purpose of the building be to educate those who experience it, and the most fitting fulfillment of this concept would be the education about the materials that it is made out of.
With that in mind, we set in search of materials that would be appropriate for these goals – what we found was Zyplex, a plastic composite that is made from recycled plastic within the UK, and once it enters the Zyplex system, can be repeatedly recycled through their process into different uses, which include lumber, fencing, benches, bollards, picnic tables, paving, roofing, etc. Essentially, once plastic enters the closed loop Zyplex system, which is manufactured in London very close to our site, it will stay there, which means that our building material is made from materials that have already been used, and that once we are done with that it will be used again, and all this happens within just miles of our site.
With our material chosen, we needed a function for the form to follow. We decided that we wanted to showcase the strength and structural integrity that Zyplex has as a material. Somewhat inspired by the idea of trees as shelter that is understood as an individual can feel both sheltered and exposed underneath a large tree such as the fictional Mother Willow in Pocahontas or the real Bodhi Tree in India, we decided that the minimal and elegant abstraction of a tree would showcase the structural integrity of Zyplex while lending itself to the symbolism of regeneration commonly understood by the symbol of a tree, and which is quite explicative of Zyplex as a material.