7 Imaginative Pavilions
The temporary nature of pavilions makes them the ideal testing grounds for new, often radical architectural ideas. From Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion to Bernard Tschumi’s deconstructivist follies in Parc de la Villette, pavilions can be powerful and clear architectural statements.
Traditionally, the definition of a pavilion is a free-standing structure, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. But the pavilion, as we understand it in modern terms, was popularized by the large international exhibitions of the 20th century, where countries from all over world competed in the most spectacular ways to epitomize their technological capacity.
While contemporary pavilions can still demonstrate technological ingenuity as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Blur Building at the 2002 EXPO and Foster’s slim canopy in Marseille or a poetic statement about nature and structure as in Zumthor’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion or the larger scale landscape projects as Ai Wei Wei-curated Jinhua Architecture Park or Kazuyo Sejima’s Inujima Art House Project.
All of the above excellent examples on how a structure of a temporary nature devoid of any real functional purpose leaves room to demonstrate how a passionate and determinate architectural vision.