The Jackalope Pavilion is a temporary gallery space for Random International’s Australian edition of ‘Rain Room.’ Situated above the Prince of Wales car park in St Kilda, the pavilion is designed entirely around the requirements of Rain Room, it’s temporary residence at the site, and the potential re-use of the building and its’ components on another site. The ephemeral experience of the artwork along with its limited residency is celebrated through the transient construction method of the architecture, and it’s disappearing act in blending with the typical cloudy Melbourne sky.
A 100 square metre field of continuous rainfall, Rain Room is an interactive environment engaging all the senses, allowing you to be fully immersed in the rain while simultaneously protected from it. The artists, Random International seek to explore how human relationships to each other and nature are increasingly mediated through technology. As a physical piece, Rain Room features 2500 litres of water falling from a suspended gantry, elevated five metres above a steel grated floor at 1000 litres per minute through 55,000 individually programmed nozzles. The water passes through the floor and is reticulated to the pump room where it is treated, and recirculated. The pavilion is one of inverse - where keeping water in is more important than keeping water out.
The Jackalope Pavilion is an exercise in mediating between engineering and exhibition design, the architecture unites the often competing constraints. The requirements included a large open space, an underslung water collection system, compliant access, all on top of a multi-level concrete car park with a ‘wedding cake’ planning envelope to adhere to. The pavilion became elevated, perched on stilts high above the building below, to allow on grade access from the top level of the car park.