Chicago, IL


Empty Pavilion

The Empty Pavilion is a collaboration between McLain Clutter and Kyle Reynolds. It is a meditation on Detroit’s evacuated urban context and an experiment in architecture’s ability to activate a latent public in the city. The project aspires to distribute just enough material across empty space – an element Detroit has in excess – to make that space legible and promote interaction. From a distance, the project engages the onlooker in a visual game of fleeting figuration. The pavilion is conceived as a collection of architectural figures drawn-in-space. From certain vantage points, and only momentarily, the project recalls familiar architectural elements that may entice memory – like the roof line of house, a chimney, a hallway, or a staircase. From other vantages, the project presents clear, and yet unfamiliar, architectural figures – thus soliciting projective association. Up-close, the pavilion is meant to encourage physical interaction. Elements within the design suggest differing modes of occupation, such as seating, lounging and climbing. Constructed of bent steel tubing, foam and rubber, the pavilion is counter-intuitively soft to the touch, begging tactile engagement.


The Empty Pavilion was funded by a Research Through Making grant from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture.

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Status: Built
Location: Detroit, MI, US
Additional Credits: Kyle Reynolds, McLain Clutter, Ariel Poliner, Mike Sanderson, Nate Van Wylan