Expo CIHAC is an annual architecture and construction exhibition that takes place in Mexico City and the biggest in Latin America of its kind. Every year exhibitors have the opportunity to get noticed and call for attention through the design of their stands. Some companies take advantage of it and others not. Panel Rey, the biggest gypsum panel company in Mexico, participated year after year in this exhibition but with the typical boring in-house designed stand. On the other hand, their direct competition, USG, contracted the best Mexican architects to design their stand and where always the pavilion that everybody was talking about.
With this in mind, we approached the CEO of Panel Rey and convinced him to confront his competition by commissioning us a pavilion that would push the limits, design-wise, of what could be accomplished with gypsum panels. We partnered with Sanzpont [arquitectura] for this project and together we generated a whimsical and outgoing way to seek attention and leave behind the monotony of the exhibition halls. The pavilion is formed by a number of flat triangles that intersect in space to create an arch framing the central area while a six meters long cantilever protrudes over the top. The outside of the exhibition stand is covered with gypsum panels, the back column and the cantilevered structure are covered with exterior panels (Glass Rey) and the inside frame is covered with cement panels (Permabase).
These kinds of exhibitions generate great pollution and environmental contamination when they are dismantled. With this in mind, we proposed a way to reduce the amount of material that ends up in the trash by letting the stand visitors take with them a small piece of the pavilion. The panels have a 10x10cm grid with cutouts that function as product samples to give away. As the exhibition days go by the stand is transformed as the visitors "consume" it. These samples have a QR code on its backside and with a scanner it takes you to the detailed information of the product. People where encouraged to choose which piece they wanted to take with them in order to become lucky winners of an iPad because ten pieces out of thousands had on their reverse side a "You won!" sticker.