What if we should match Shukhov’s pioneering works with Vyksa’s metallurgical tradition?
Can we acknowledge these two important elements of Russian Culture, tribute and turn them into a contemporary pavilion ?
Haptic is the answer.
The proposal for a small pavilion in the city of Vyksa deals with a double challenge: from one hand, to establish a dialogue with the innovative experimental structures of Vladimir Shukhov, trying to transfer the logic and the spirit of those architectures into a contemporary episode; from the other hand, to go beyond the functional predeterminations of the program, presenting a flexible and open pavilion, whose formal configuration wants to stimulate individual perception and sense alterations.
Longitudinal welded pipes, usually designed for oil and gas production, are the main products of Vyksa Steel Works, one of Russia’s oldest metallurgic centers, established in 1757.
Thanks to the use of the metaphor, this activity, so central in Vyksa’s economical and social life, is transformed into one of the architectonic elements of Haptic Pavilion.
So, what in reality is steel, in the pavilion becomes a cluster of polycarbonate tubes, whose interaction with daylight produce a very warm and special effect in the relation between interior and exterior.
Starting from a simple frame-steel structure, Haptic Pavilion is covered by hundreds of these tubes, with different diameters and lengths (0.10 to 0.50 m diameter, and 0.20 to 1.000m length). The combination of these different types allows to design very dynamic facades.
Transforming the massive characteristic of steel into something more innovative, light, and interesting: steel pipes and structural complexity of Shukhov’s works are metaphorically reproduced into this small pavilion, whose dimensions are 4.00x7.00 mt. The height is 3.50 mt. From inside the pavilion, polycarbonate tubes filtrate daylight and work as a very ephemeral membrane with the exterior. The visitor will not perceive the difference between interior and exterior, he will enjoy a in-between space where many events will occur.
Haptic Pavilion wants to alter the perception of the user; wants to test and stimulate his senses. That’s why polycarbonate tubes are used.
Outside, the pavilion looks like a white permeable structure, floating over the ground. At the first glance, you don’t understand how it works from a structural point of view.
Tubes allow to create a very de-materialized object.
Inside, daylight penetrates and is filtered by polycarbonate. The interplay between light and shadow produce a suffuse atmosphere, and boundaries between interior and exterior don’t exist anymore.
One of the other aspects of Haptic Pavilion is its flexible character, both functionally and structurally.
From a programmatic point of view, the building is totally open to many uses: it can work as an exhibition center, because interior space flows freely without obstacles; it also serves as a concert room, or as auditorium, because ceiling is equipped with sound absorbing elements (8mm.); finally Haptic Pavilion can be also used to house workshops or similar events, since its interior distribution can be colonized according to several necessities.
So, in this way, Haptic Pavilion works as a real public space, as it responds to many requirements. Vyksas’s citizens can gather there, enter the pavilion and enjoy the various activities.
Structurally, the Pavilion is conceived as 28 m² transparent box covered by polycarbonate tubes: in case of new arising necessities, it can be extended and manipulated just by adding pillars and beam to the original structure. It’s cheap, easy in use, and flexible !
Its simple process of assembling allows to transport it throughout the city, and installed in different locations.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Vyksa, RU