Straight Edge Pavilion

IWS12 | 2010

The Straight Edge Pavilion is a highly experimental wooden structure, designed and built from scratch in only 7 days from 519 uniquely CNC-water-jet-cut pieces of 7mm plywood.  The Pavilion was realised in the late spring of 2010 in Tampere, Finland, during the 12th edition of the International Workshop Series (IWS) The Straight Edge Pavilion consists of cube-segments distributed onto a double-curved surface.  The straight cube-edge allows for very strong plywood connections using a standard, hand-nailed box joint.  By having the opposing edges not connecting orthogonally, a double curved surface can be created.  An algorithmic procedure was set up to calculate and distribute cube-segments onto the surface, and automate the generation of production drawings.  The CNC-cutting of all uniquely labelled components required 2 full days.  Benefiting from Finland’s midsummer night light, the overnight hand-assembly of the massive 3D jigsaw puzzle meticulously followed the pre-choreographed montage sequence.  16 hours and over 18,000 nails later, the 10.9m x 7.9m x 4.6m pavilion had emerged in an enclosed campus courtyard, starkly contrasting the rigid surrounding buildings with its fluent, yet aggressively angular shape. When attempting to decipher the emerging patterns and rhythms of the pavilion, its geometric definition challenges the perception of structure versus structurally defined ornament. A careful balance takes place between the regular, repetitive framework of the cubic forms and their irregular deviations as they configure the complex overall shape.