michael jantzen

michael jantzen

Santa Fe, NM, US


The Web-Shaped Pavilion

Michael Jantzen
© 2011

The Web-Shaped Pavilion is a conceptual design proposal for a large, solar powered, interactive, public gathering place. The 130 foot tall pavilion is clad with 208 hinged panels that can be automatically pulled up or down in tracks with small electric motors along the outer surface of the structure, into hundreds of different positions. This opening and/or closing of the surface of the structure alters the entire shape of the pavilion. The shape of the structure starts as a simple cylindrical form when all of the panels are in the closed position. The shape of this cylinder is altered as soon as any of the 208 hinged panels begins to move into their open positions. The opening and closing of the hinged panels also changes the quality of light on the inside of the pavilion, as well as the view of the surrounding landscape.
All of this interactive manipulation is designed to take place through the Internet. People from all over the world will be able to participant in altering the shape of the structure through their computers, ipods, ipads, or smart phones. There will be many different ways in which people can manipulate the structure and these methods will change over time. In general, however, much of the manipulation will be based on a kind of crowd control where the majority rules. In this way, the look of the structure from minute to minute will be based on how the majority of the people vote on the ways in which the hinged panels should be moved. The Web Shaped Pavilion will simply retrieve the Internet votes from around the world, convert these votes into electrical signals, which in turn activate the small electric motors that pull the hinged panels up or down into various positions relative to one another.
All of this will primarily be powered by a large array of solar cells mounted on the top of the structure. When the structure does not need all of the power generated by the solar cells, it will be sent into the local grid.
The pavilion can be enclosed behind the hinged panels with glass, or left open with just a wire mesh. Visitors to the Web Shaped Pavilion can climb up through the seven levels on a spiral staircase, or an elevator can be installed. If stairs are used, specially designs steps can be installed that generate electricity through kinetic energy as the visitors climb from one level to the next. If an elevator is used, it will generate additional electrical energy through gravity each time the elevator is moving in the down position. All of this electrical energy will be stored for night time use in the form of hydrogen gas, which will be made on site and stored underground near the pavilion.
The pavilion will be artificially lit at night from the center core of the structure, so that the changing shape of it will be defined by the light as it shines out between the moving hinged panels. 

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Anywhere!