Architectural Association Swoosh Pavillion

Photos: Valerie Bennett
Every year Charles Walker and Martin Self, two professors of the Architectural Association in London, organize a competition for the design of a summer pavilion open to twelve student participants. The winning entry this year was entitled "Swoosh," created by the Mexican student Valeria García Abarca. The jury was presided by Walker and made up of Larry Malcic, head of design at HOK, and Alex de Rijke of dRMM.

The concept of the pavilion came of studying the deformation of an optical model in two dimensions. Optical qualities were extracted from the visual dynamic and interpreted in three dimensions. Fabricated by students in the AA workshop in Hooke Park in Dorset County, the pavilion was presented in Bedford Square in London from July 14th to August 5th.
The structure, completely dismountable, is composed of 653 pieces of wood, columns, and transversal beams. The eight arches in the middle of the pavilion, gradually cantilevered, create an intimate space. Some of the columns are divided into two segments, sustained by a steel base on the ground and joined with metallic connections. The transversal beams were cut with a CNC machine; their angles were fashioned by hand based on their relation to the columns.
The geometry of the pavilion is symmetrical, but its shape varies as it goes along, from a radius of 2.2 meters to a height of 3.3. meters. All of the elements of the pavilion are vertical, so that the shadow it casts is a reflection of the original plan.

Another notable feature is the interaction of the design with the landscape, the end of the structure surrounding the lamp post. At night, the luminous effect is asymmetrical, emphasizing the visual flow of the beams. During the day, the shadows change dramatically, offering a different visual experience.
Floor planSection
Valeria García Abarca (Mexico City, 1983) is currently a student in the Intermediate School of the Architectural Association in London.

Milan Tomic

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