a wind sensitive pavilion
a winning entry of the centennial festival of riverboats pavilion design competition
“DRIFT proposes a triangular arrangement of eight foot diameter balloons that create a dynamic canopy over bourbon tastings, educational spaces for children and other groups. Jurors praised the project for its unexpected playfulness and relationship to historic river imagery. The design was interpreted by the panel of jurors as a type of inverted raft with romantic allusions to the journeys of Huckleberry Finn as well as the flatboats that once populated Louisville’s wharf in great numbers. — Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft blog”
On October 15, 2014, Louisville will host the Centennial Festival of Riverboats to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Belle of Louisville. During the summer of 2013, the Waterfront Development Corporation announced an international design competition for a series of temporary pavilions to be used during the celebration. Designs were required to accommodate a variety of uses and relate conceptually to the event while adhering to a stipulated material budget and public safety requirements.
Interest in the project was far-reaching, attracting a variety of established firms and creative practices from thirteen countries including twenty United States.
The winning entry, DRIFT, was submitted by Brooklyn-based design practice stpmj. Design team members Seung Teak Lee and Mi Jung Lim are both natives of Seoul, Korea. stpmj has an impressive track record with inventive design projects as evidenced by works such as Invisible Barn, a reflective structure proposed for the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York.
DRIFT proposes a triangular arrangement of eight foot diameter balloons that create a dynamic canopy over bourbon tasting and educational spaces for children and other groups. Jurors praised the project for its unexpected playfulness and relationship to historic river imagery. The relationship to Louisville’s river history was singled out by jury member Rick Bell, a prominent Louisville historian, as a vital characteristic of a centennial celebration and one that required a unique expression. DRIFT was interpreted by the panel of jurors as a type of inverted raft with romantic allusions to the journeys of Huckleberry Finn as well as the flatboats that once populated Louisville’s wharf in great numbers.
The stpmj design team will receive a $2000 prize for their winning proposal which will be fabricated locally for the Centennial Festival. The second place award of $1000 went to Aaron Loomans of Milwaukee, WI for his entry entitled Paddle Flux. Mr. Looman’s submission also placed second in the People’s Choice voting. First place in the People’s Choice voting went to a project entitled Centennial Paddlevillion, a collaboration between New York City based Metamechanics and Christian Duvernois Landscape/Gallery.
The Centennial Festival of Riverboats Pavilions Design Competition was initiated by Louisville-based design practice PART Studio LLC. Special thanks are given to Louisville’s own sonaBLAST! Records for sponsoring the competition and to the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft for hosting the public exhibition of the work.
“Drift” is an interactive design proposal that responds to currents of air and offers diverse medium of entertainment for the visitors. The balloons create an overarching canopy, casting shadow and diffused light below. As the balloons sway either gently or brusquely depending on the wind, the shadows change according to the movement of the balloons. Visitors are encouraged to play with the continuously changing shape of the balloon canopy by pulling and pushing elastic cords connected to the balloons. “Drift” becomes a resilient and playful datum on the riverside.
The proposal is composed of two main components; the canopy of floating balloons and three levels of the wooden platform(base). The 8' diameter latex balloon is a commercially available product, which is light to transport and easy to blow. The balloon can sustain its volume outdoors and in harsh weather conditions. 250 cubic feet of helium gas makes the balloon float with enough force to lift 15 lb for 10-15 days. The balloons can easily be replenished with helium and regain its volume and strength. The canopy of 10 balloons is anchored to the wood base with elastic bungee cords that is light but contains tensile strength. These elastic cords allow the canopy to both float and drift by wind and visitors.
The wood-base is triangular shaped furniture with three different levels (3’-6”, 2’-6” and 1’-2”). Each level connotes various functions; bar & vendor booth, drinking & eating table, and benches. The entire base could be used as a seating area when performances are held in the center of the triangle. The 3’-6” high wood box is water proofed to prevent electrocution from machineries of the vendors and musicians. The wooden base is made from 2x4 lumbers and plywood sheathings.
“Drift” is an open structure that does not obstruct the skyline and riverboats around the river. It provides a multi-purpose space that can support the festival of food, bourbon, music and art to celebrate 100th anniversary of the Belle of Louisville. “Drift” provides visitors with amusements that the Belle of Louisville has offered for the past century.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Louisville, KY, US