5 Examples of Ephemeral Architecture

Gabrielle Golenda Gabrielle Golenda

Inflatable bouncy castles (and their adult analogs) notwithstanding, temporary structures are often an ugly, vinyl-awning / aluminum-leg affair. But pop-up or otherwise ephemeral architecture can also present an opportunity for designers to get creative. Here are some examples, culled from Marc Kushner’s The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings, that prove that architecture doesn’t need to be permanent to be beautiful and engaging.

Head in the Clouds Pavilion by STUDIOKCA

This temporary social hub that was for the Figment art festival on Governer’s Island is made up of 53,780 recycling plastic bottles. That total represents the number of bottles thrown away in New York City every hour.

BVLGARI Pavilion by Not a Number Architects

This rigid pavilion, a Readymade if you will, is constructed of off-the-shelf acrylic tubes. And it seems like an appropriate choice that BVLGARI based it on the image of a rough gemstone.

PDU by EDG Interior Architecture + Design

Portable Dining Unit (PDU) is the alternative to food trucks. Designed with emerging chefs and mobilized dining culture in mind, this corrugated plastic shell expands to accommodate from two to 50 foodies.

Floatastic by Qastic

In order to provide temporary shade and a ceremonial structure for a wedding, Qastic Labs designed this balloon canopy filled with helium. The jellyfish-like giant is held up by a noble gas, draped in diaphanous fabric, and tied to the PVC pipes implanted in the ground.

Drift by Snarkitecture

The conventional white party tent became the unexpected white (and grey) party tent at Design Miami 2012. The Brooklyn-based designers turned the ceiling into a topographical landscape of white vinyl tubes, with matching benches to boot.


Get your hands on a copy of The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings here.

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