Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ephemeral Entertainment Pavilions & Venues

Ephemeral Entertainment Pavilions & Venues

Transitory shelters and venues for exhibitions, performances, festivals and other entertainment purposes are often an afterthought, little more than white fabric stretched across a metal frame. But these 13 stunning examples of temporary architecture – including a straw bale theater, a nomadic museum and an inflatable roof held aloft by BBQ smoke – are imaginative, beautiful and often sustainable to boot.

MINI Metallic Opera Pavilion

(images via: my modern met)

This sharply geometric temporary pavilion was designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au for the Munich Opera Festival 2010. Able to seat 300, the pavilion’s design was primarily based on acoustics. “Another design strategy is also to reduce the influence of external sources of sound. The Pavilion which is 21 meters long, 17 meters wide and between 6 and 8 meters high will be positioned in such a way on the Marstallplatz that it will act more as a sound reflector than as a barrier to the sound of the cars passing by.”

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Alvaro Siza Vieira

(images via: alvaro siza vieira)

The Serpentine Gallery in London gets a new, innovative central pavilion each year, and the 2005 design was definitely a standout. Illuminated by polycarbonate panels, the solar-powered timber and metal structure created a temporary event space with a highly geometric shell-like form.

Burnham Pavilion by UNStudio

(images via: dezeen)

The first of two temporary pavilions for Chicago’s Millennium Park, UNStudio’s Burnham Pavilion resembles a sleek polycarbonate dance platform, illuminated in brightly colored lights after dark. The pavilion is supported by two swooping central structures, giving the illusion of a floating platform.

Temporary Shipping Container Music Venue

(images via: leonardo finotti)

Beautiful and colorful, the temporary music festival venue designed by Barnarndes Jacobsen for 2011′s Tim Festival in Rio de Janeiro was made super-sustainable with the use of stacked shipping containers. The architect wanted a space that is low-impact environmentally but high-impact visually, and achieved this by staggering the containers slightly and filling many of the gaps with projection screens.

Black No. 99 Theater Made of Straw Bales

(images via: dezeen)

Painted in ultra-dramatic black, the NO99 theater in Talinn, Estonia is barely recognizable for what it is: stacked straw bales. Salto Architects created a temporary venue that could stand for six months and then be easily and sustainably disassembled. The straw bales were reinforced with steel trusses and left unfinished.

Temporary Museum (Lake) by Anne Holtrop

(images via: dezeen)

An exhibition of landscape paintings received the perfect backdrop in Anne Holtrop’s curved timber maze. Set on an Amsterdam nature reserve, Temporary Museum (Lake) was made of untreated poplar and lasted just six weeks. Says the architect, “Not likeness or beauty is its key aspect, as in traditionalism; nor logic or ratio as in modernism; but rather ‘the possible’ in the sense of what is merely conceivable, the idea that all things can be perceived and conceived differently.”

Living Pavilion for Governor’s Island

(images via: builtecology, bustler)

Selected as the winning entry in a first-ever annual pavilion competition for New York’s Governors Island, ‘Living Pavilion’ by Ann Ha and Behrang Behin bloomed in the spring of 2010. The low-tech, zero-impact structure uses reclaimed milk crates to create a modular planted ‘green wall’ surface. The pavilion was erected as a refuge from the heat, and included gardens planted in crates that ran along the grass beside the structure.

Multipurpose Modular Icebergs for NYC

(images via: woods bagot)

Temporary ‘icebergs’ that can act as venues for performances as well as retail space could fill in the eyesores left behind at stalled construction sites. Woods Bagot New York imagines translucent structures made of high-tech plastic fabric stretched over modular steel frames, with inflatable faceted roofs that give them the ‘iceberg’ appearance.

Zocalo Nomadic Museum

(images via: ashes and snow)

Used to house the Ashes and Snow photography and film exhibition by Gregory Colbert in 2005, the Zocalo Nomadic Museum by Shigeru Ban and Buro Happold traveled to Santa Monica, Tokyo and Mexico City. The design, originally made of shipping containers, evolved as it traveled; the most recent incarnation in Zocalo, Mexico City, was made mostly of bamboo.

Jellyfish Theater

Britain’s first recycled theater was made entirely of donated and salvaged materials including pallets and discarded doors. Designed by German architect and conceptual artist Martin Kaltwasser, the Jellyfish Theater was a 120-seat venue for two eco-themed plays, Oikos and Protozoa, before it was ripped down and recycled.

Cloud-Like Temporary Urban Landscape

(images via: bustler)

Danish design firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – named this highly unusual design ‘P.S.1 out of 7295′. Made for a competition to design a temporary urban landscape that incorporates elements of shade, water, seating and bar areas for the courtyard of the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the concept is made up of massive translucent balloons made of recycled PVC. This material not only provides the necessary shade and seating, it’s also used for a ‘mega air mattress’ for play, and a paddling pool surrounded by bouncy seating.

Thatched Eco-Huts by MOS Architects

(images via:

Another design for P.S.1 is ‘Afterparty’, a system of thatched huts dreamed up by MOS Architects. The design is sober and simple, commenting upon the current need for architecture to scale back after years of excess, but still provides all of the elements required in a temporary event pavilion. Made of a recycled aluminum frame with natural covering and a little bit of concrete, the design provides a shady, sustainable space that calls to mind the low-tech but elegant and effective architecture of more primitive times.

All Souls Day Pillow Pavilion

(images via: architizer)

Hovering above the ground like a giant pillow, this fun pavilion roof designed by Overtreders W for an art festival on All Soul’s Day is kept inflated by BBQ smoke. Smoke is routed from a wood-fired stove, which roasts chestnuts and potatoes, through a fabric duct and into the roof structure. Unlike many temporary pavilions, this design can be reused, making it even more sustainable.

The Art Of Omaha’s Grain Elevators

The Art Of Omaha’s Grain Elevators

A too-big-to-demolish, multi-silo grain elevator in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, has been given an a-maize-ing makeover thanks to Stored Potential, an ingenious visual project that will give local artists both amateur and professional some truly towering exposure.

Aim High, Silo

(images via: The Reader and TownCommons)

How does one re-purpose a huge, abandoned, mid-20th-century grain elevator? The question looms ever larger when the grain elevator in question squats a mere stone’s throw from Omaha, Nebraska’s city center and is seen by an estimated 76,000 highway commuters each and every day.

(images via: Papparazzi, The Reader and Admiral58)

Enter Emerging Terrain, “an educational non-profit research and design collaborative.” Make of that what you may, but the organization has achieved great success in marshaling governmental, corporate, educational and artistic forces to create works of enduring visual value where there was once only dereliction and decay.

Such was the case of the massive grain elevator complex that sits cheek-by-jowl with I-80 in downtown Omaha. Disused for decades yet too strong structurally to be easily (and cheaply) demolished, the nearly two dozen silos were becoming the kind of eyesore even Omaha’ans long-accustomed to tuning them out could no longer ignore.

A Banner Day For Omaha

Anne Trumble (above, right), Founder of Emerging Terrain, came up with an effective solution to this case of visual pollution: ask local artists to create and submit artwork with an agriculture-related theme, suitable for blowing up into removable banners to be draped down the sides of the silos. And so, Stored Potential was born.

Trumble had to be pleased and astonished at the response: roughly 500 submissions were received and the real difficulty was choosing just 13.

On the bright side, having so many submissions to select from allowed for a wide-ranging variety of subjects and styles to appear on the 20′ x 80′ woven poly-mesh panels which were securely fastened to the individual silos.

Only 13 of the two-dozen silos at the grain elevator, those closest to I-80, would be graced with the artistic panels but the total area displayed works out to approximately 22,000 square feet. That’s a lot of art! Among the chosen works was “Bacon/Amen” by M. Brady Clark, a stylized strip of marbled Nebraska bacon set against a complementary mint green background. Mmm, bacon…

Farm, Not Function

Stored Potential was always meant to be a semi-temporary exhibition – after 3 or 4 months, the banners were to be taken down and distributed to other grain elevators across Nebraska. Following this “grained tour”, the banners would return to their original stomping grounds to hang on the silos furthest from I-80. That would leave the originally decorated silos bare… or would it?

It would not: due to the overwhelmingly favorable reaction to “Stored Potential 1: Land Use, Agriculture, and Food” in 2010, Anne Trumble was authorized to organize a redux of sorts for 2011. “Stored Potential 2: Transport(ation)” involves a similar shout out to local artists for 14 spaces on the I-80 facing tier of silos. One submission (above, left) by Erin & Justin Brouillette displays a portion of the 2005 Nebraska Land Use Map’s analysis of “food miles”, with the 4 percent of locally sourced and used foods consumed by Omaha residents highlighted in bright yellow. Above right is the lower portion of Casey Elmer‘s submission, which likens Nebraska’s rail infrastructure to the appearance of sprouting grain.

Why transport? “The discontinued silos sit as markers to the ever changing landscape of transport”, as the project brief from Emerging Terrain puts it. “As infrastructural networks advance and improve, the city is forced to confront relics of outmoded situations, ideas, and technologies. What will the future say about our current systems of transport, from the vehicles we drive, the computers we network with, the communication lines that have long accompanied physical infrastructure, and the empty silos we drive by each day?”

Weather permitting, the second iteration of Stored Potential will enliven the sides of another dozen or so silos in early October of 2011. It won’t be long before legions of photographers, bloggers and mainstream journalists document what has to be the biggest thing to hit Omaha since the Great Flood of 1881. Stay tuned to WebUrbanist for a follow-up post, copiously illustrated for your pleasure!

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