SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion, aka “League of Shadows” avoids any clichéd sense of “pavilion” as something temporary, consequently exploiting its temporal nature as a way of reinventing its own purpose. The project aims to become an icon that both activates an important node in downtown LA and attracts the staging of public events from the surrounding creative community. Furthermore, the project establishes a formal beacon for SCI-Arc, a “marque” that reasserts its institutional mission and physical presence in Downtown LA.
The project’s verticality not only creates a counterpoint to the schools quarter-mile long horizontal bar building, but also allows for enough shadow during the early and late hours of early September afternoon, when events are usually held. The shape acts as an enfolding envelope for the graduation ceremony and, like an amphitheater or concert hall, focuses views in what would otherwise be an open parking lot. Informed by shadow studies, the seating arrangement follows the outline of a combined shadow path. A maximum of 1,000 patrons can be seated in the comfort of shadow.
LOS figural shape acts as a natural envelope for the event, providing students and families controlled views of the ceremony in what it is otherwise a fully open parking lot. Volumetric and graphic, the intent of the project is to assert certain indeterminacy in its formal reading. By depicting simple volumes from the street and a carved unified grouping of enveloping surfaces from the interior, the proposal provides a dual reading: a simple outline from far away and a complex radiating superficial texture at close range.
The superstructure is fabricated out of steel sections to form three fingering rectilinear volumes. The skin is made of woven fabric strips, which act together as projection and lighting surfaces, further activating the space at night.