Location: London, UK
Client: Architectural Association
A competition for a pavilion to be built in front of the AA School of Architecture, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Design Research Lab post-graduate program.
The proposal was a bio-morphic formal expression of the DRL’s growth, reflecting the foundation of the graduate programme to its current world-wide recognition and prestige. The aim of this proposal is to test the structural capabilities of fibre-c as a suitable material for non-standard forms.
The panels have been designed based on the structural principle of corrugation, folding a flat sheet of material to increase its structural properties. The edges of the panels are folded to create rigid modules. The modules are stacked and bolted together with steel plate connections to form ribs, and each rib is fastened together to create an overall rigid tubular system. The folded edges of the modules transfer vertical forces to the laminated timber support structure. The infill surface of the module serves for lateral bracing and can be milled with a pattern to reduce material weight in areas of larger spans, creating a play between solid and transparency.
The challenge was to create repetition in the modules while trying to follow the complex curvature of the pavilion’s form. By breaking apart the overall form into typical zones, five moulds can be used to fold the wet fibre-c sheets. Each mould can create between four and six variations resulting in a total of 22 unique panel types.
Using variation in flat panel sizes and applying apertures in specific locations created a pixelization of the pavilion’s surface and was enhanced by using five shades of grey standard to the fibre-c collection.