BUCHAREST – As part of this year’s Bucharest Architecture Festival, FieldTrip Studio completed an architectural intervention serving as a gathering space and urban think tank to perform research focusing on social issues and ensuring a better understanding of the built environment. The pavilion provides a space in which a city resident can become an urban developer and actively engage in the process of reimagining the city.

The project is inspired by the notion of Poiana Lui Iocan, which refers to a central place in Romanian villages where most of the political discussions and other important social debates were originally held. FieldTrip Studio grasped the opportunity, through this small-scale intervention, to provide leadership capability for a collaborative city and set a platform through which it would become possible to develop strategies delivering relevant urban changes.

As the project was sponsored by a timber manufacturer – and due to its temporary nature – the use of wood seemed appropriate. Given the manufacturer’s disposition to realise virtually anything, the creative team promptly engaged in an elaborate design phase so as to explore different geometries and experiment with scale and process. All components were produced beforehand, then delivered and assembled on-site. The pavilion turned out to be really successful in attracting people, owing in part to its unusual geometry and the overall quality of its fabrication. As a result, FieldTrip Studio easily managed to redirect visitors towards other programmatic elements of the project.

The creative team, which has members spread throughout the UK, Germany and Romania, further explains: ‘The project began without a specific site, and without half of the people involved ever having been to Bucharest. We were thus essentially designing to a generic city centre context. Therefore, a brief quickly emerged to design for errors in the programming. Flexibility and adaptability became key themes so the project would become about fluid spaces and reconfigurable displays.’

The team encouraged visitors to get involved through simple interactive exercises of mapping in order to foster interactions, create an efficient method of communication, gather information, develop a database of potential projects and ultimately initiate the process of critical thinking.

Photos Alexandru Dobre