BEIJING – As part of the 9-day highly-experimental Architectural Association’s Beijing Visiting School (tutored by Christoph Klemmt and Rolando Rodriguez-Leal), students of all backgrounds sharing an inspiring eagerness to actively shape the future of architecture were asked to design and manufacture an articulated architectural artefact.
The Frsh pavilion appears to result from a series of explorations addressing alternative approaches, techniques and methodologies in the arts and applied sciences realm.
Following an introductory stage of conceptual, technical and critical experimentations – at the end of which students presented preliminary design proposals – the intensive workshop held at Tsinghua University culminated in the production of a prototypical construction system, applicable to the outcome with the most potential.
‘The installation was generated using digital, force-based analysis simulations, which resulted in compression and tension based morphologies. While meeting all the programmatic and spatial requirements of its context, the surfaces are combined so as to constitute the prime structural system.’
It barely took 10 hours for these sharp creative minds to manually assemble all of the laser-cut hexagonal components into a stable, double-curved aluminum surface. The hovering pavilion generates covered spaces in which light penetrates at a variable intensity. This project thus underlies an understanding of the sensorial quality of spaces as well as a desire to go beyond the limits of set calculation processes.
It is interesting to witness students pursuing such visually-appealing work almost essentially through a geometric development. The Architectural Association’s Visiting School programme seems to finally demonstrate how emergent technologies – besides serving as means of production of space – can be seen as tools whose abilities may increase specific qualities of materiality acting on one’s immediate physical perception.