They were designed and assembled with care, but taken down like Christmas trees after the holidays. Despite their small-scale and short-lived presence, the spirits of temporary structures now live on forever thanks to the internet. Hosting events, expos and biennales, these pavilions used innovative materials and techniques to transform everyday spaces into festive microcosms. Here are the top 10:
1. Forest Pavilion by nARCHITECTS
Hualien province, Taiwan
The Taiwanese Masadi Festival needed a venue to host opening and closing ceremonies. Bamboo and reclaimed wood from a tsunami served as the raw materials for the series of open-air vaults creating a sense of enclosure and offering shade to onlookers.
2. Golden Moon by LEAD
A lightweight geodesic globe was assembled in 6 days thanks to its metal wire and bamboo structure. Evoking the passion associated with the Mid-Autumn festival, the framework was sheathed with flame-coloured shades of fabric. The vibrant construct takes on the appearance of a Chinese lantern.
3. NonLin|Lin Pavilion by Marc Fornes|THEVERYMANY
Comprised of 27 pieces of aluminum drilled with over 150,000 holes, the lightweight, self-supporting and water-resistant pavilion can be assembled, dismantled and relocated as needed.
4. GS Caltex Pavilion at EXPO 2012 by Atelier Brückner
Billowing in the wind like rice in the fields, 380 individual metal poles shaped like blades stand over 18-m tall. An interior spaced comprised of mirrors reflects the perimeter's blades endlessly.
5. Wendy by HWKN
New York, New York, USA
The Young Architects Program for New York's MoMA PS1 hosts an annual competition for an open-air structure to protect from the elements. A fabric treated with titania nanofilm neutralized the air of pollution while offering shade and seating to thousands of visitors.
6. Pop-up Pavilion by BOWOOSS Research Project
Research into biomimicry lead to a self-stabilising cocoon-shaped structure based on the strength and lightness of diatoms, a single-celled algae. Three-dimensional ribs of laminated wood with pore-like openings were cut with standard carpentry tools.
7. i-City by SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov
A glowing mosaic of QR codes gave the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale visitors an unexpected treat, an experience which fully required their interaction to reveal information. Discovering the hidden content drummed up so much excitement, the pavilion won an award from the Biennale's jury.
8. Spanish Pavilion at Yeosu Expo by External Reference Architects
An undulating display of test tubes filled with sea water was illuminated with LEDs, mesmerising visitors while informing them of Spain's seafaring traditions.
9. Drift by Snarkitecture
Miami, Florida, USA
An aggregation of inflatable tubes resembling a cave's stalactites were arranged to let light and air filter through Design Miami's entrance pavilion. The tubes also doubled as seating.
10. Rising Moon by Daydreamers Design
A hemispheric form comprised of recycled polycarbonate water bottles is brightly illuminated with LEDs, reflecting to form a depiction of the full moon, a primary symbol of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.