Pop-up Pavilion for programmatic activation in COCA

Studio: Conjuntos Empáticos
Authors: Sálvora Feliz + Marta G Soler + Andrea Briz + Tomás Pineda
Location: Madrid, Spain
Video: Conjuntos Empáticos

General aspects: In this specific case, the design and construction of an ephemeral and intermittent action that activates the backyard of the School of Architecture of Madrid was proposed through the development of participation and thought processes in which different actors of the university community collaborated together to create a pneumatic object that would host the closing celebration of the aforementioned Congress, as a performative and socializing element. This workshop was offered to undergraduate, master's degree and postgraduate research students, on the days the Congress was held, so that the creation action took place in a total of 33 hours and was carried out by 14 attendees. During the workshop, the pavilion was designed parametrically, simplified in patterns, and built seaming the different patterns. Then the entire object was moved to the chosen site, to make in situ the last adjustments of the pneumatic space, as the union of the object to the three fans that would allow its insufflation.

As a result, the pavilion consisted of 126m2, which accounted for 441m3 delimited by the polyethylene membrane consisting of thermo-sealed pieces. Its shape was configured according to the air flow that was issued from 3 different entrances and the coexistence with the wind currents of the environment in which it was housed. In the design of its pattern, two spaces differentiated by the colour of its envelope were envisaged, which replicated the chromatic image of the event. The access was located at the midpoint of the artefact, facilitating the entrance by the encounter between the two atmospheres and conforming this practicable opening with velcro.

Why did you choose this category?: Collective Places.

For the first International Congress of Architectural Communication (COCA·17), who was celebrated between 17 and 19 of May of 2017 at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), a workshop titled “Pop-ups, reconciliadores para la activación programática” was elected through an exhaustive selection process. The collective construction workshop proposed the design of an ephemeral architecture action, in other words, creating an object capable of activating or reactivating synergies at empty urban spaces either from public or private domain. These ephemeral situations bring about programmes that generate people’s attraction, making interactions between the people, the object and the environment, as well as encouraging some socialization activities at vacant city spaces. In this process, the users of the community create bonds between them while consolidating the renaissance of forgotten areas.

In this sense, we understand the city as the mass addition of the opportunity spaces that work as urban social switches, being these able to operate at different scales. Initially, we could describe those spaces as some prototyped performances, either sporadic or permanent, that could trigger a different use of the same environment. These interventions are especially interesting when applied to little-frequented places or residual spaces that were not designed with a unique programme, being capable itself of generating people’s attraction. The collective space is thus defined as community meeting areas, independently of the space characteristics, knowing that it can be public or private. That is to say, our environment of interest/action is no longer the space of public ownership, but rather those scenarios with favourable conditions for community actions. Therefore, we will differentiate between concepts such as ownership (public or private), management (public or private) and use (collective or individual) of the community space.