Prototype | 2012
The Flexible Pavilion combines traditionally contradictory qualities in a structural vaults. Vaults are rigid, opaque, and permanent structures, often seen in monumental spaces. In turning to a durable, flexible, and translucent material, the assumptions of the vault are turned on its head. Made entirely from polypropylene--a flexible and durable plastic--the vaulted pavilion measures 10 feet in width, height, and length. A core of structural ribs slot together as in traditional Japanese joinery, and are covered in a double skin, providing shear resistance and a glowing, translucent canopy. Each leg of the pavilion is able to move up to a foot in any given direction, allowing the pavilion to be placed on uneven terrain. The vault finds its own ideal catenary geometry for each site as a result of its flexible plastic composition. The Flexible Vault is part of Babel, a speculative design for a zoo. The Pavilion is a prototype for the aviary within the zoo.