The “Design Research Laboratory (DRL)-10 space pavilion” was built in early 2008 on Bedford Square, London, for the 10th anniversary of the DRL Department at the Architectural Association Architecture School. The pavilion consists of 850 individually cut fiber reinforced panels and over 2,000 joints. The design’s complex geometry was controlled by architects Alan Dempsey and Alvin Huang using a highly intense digital model. The model was utilized to cut the cement panels with a CNC router.
The construction of the [C] Space Pavilion offered the viewer an interesting perspective upon closer inspection of the design’s fabrication and choice of materials. This simple form was highly complex. The fiber-C acted as the structural support, the skin of the structure, walls of the design and even the flooring and seating.
The beauty of this architectural solution has multiple conversation points which we could debate about, but I see this more as an inspirational icon of form, not function. This is a perfect example of what can take place when designers and architects look at materials from a different viewpoint. The [C] Space Pavilion is made from a proprietary fiber reinforced concrete panel by the Rieder Co. based in Austria, rubber gaskets and steel plating, but what if this highly complex solution was formed using lighter weight matters such textiles and aluminum framing like the pod designed by Zaha Hadid for the Burnham Pavilion. It might not have been as dramatic, but it would be interesting to see.