The winning design from SCI-Arc's competition to build a new graduation pavilion, submitted by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of PATTERNS. The pavilion will open this spring.
How do you turn a sweltering Los Angeles parking lot into a ceremonial focal point, a place where people might actually enjoy spending a few hours? To find out, Southern California Institute of Architecture invited four of its faculty members to submit proposals for a new graduation pavilion on the southern tip of the campus. All four designs will be featured in the SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion Competition show, on view tomorrow, October 19, through November 2 at the school's Library Gallery.
The pavilion consists of three tilted boxes positioned to shade as many as 1,200 people from the early- and late-afternoon sun (the most in-demand hours for the graduations, lectures, and symposia that will take place there). Plus, as the designers point out in their project statement, "its figural shape acts as a natural envelope for the event, providing students and families controlled views of the ceremony in what is otherwise a fully open parking lot."
To define the building's twisting forms, Spina and Huljich will use a structure of narrow steel pipes combined with micro-trusses, which will shape the arcing undersides of the pavilion. Though it acts as a rigid solid, the material of the facade is really a porous textile—Polytex fabric, a semitransparent shade cloth. Layers of the fabric will be sewn together, grommeted, fastened with cable nets, and erected like the giant shady sail we all dream of in such situations.
Bonus: On November 2 at 7 p.m., SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss will host a discussion with Spina, along with runners-up Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Elena Manferdini, and Tom Wiscombe.
The SCI-Arc pavilion is funded by a grant from ArtPlace. All renderings courtesy of SCI-Arc/PATTERNS