Singapore Institute of Architects has unveiled the completed Archifest 2016 pavilion in Singapore, designed by DP Architects. Drawing inspiration from the festival’s theme of ‘exhale’, the design aims to re-examine the often breathless pace of life associated with a dense city. the gigantic, technicolor inhabitable sculpture plays on the interaction of primary colours which overlap to produce a vibrant secondary and tertiary colored spectrum, encouraging visitors to forget about the stresses city life and ‘exhale’.

Courtesy of DP Architects

Courtesy of DP Architects

Composed entirely of construction site materials – safety netting suspended on a frame of steel scaffolding – DP Architects seeks to playfully refresh the city by injecting vibrant swathes of colour into the heart of the Archifest. The pavilion’s character is built on nuance and mutability: colours fade, shift, saturate and interact as one moves in and around the space. The pavilion disrupts and revitalizes the muted palette of the landscape, inviting visitors to focus, reflect and appreciate their surroundings with a fresh eye. The installation aims to play on the human body’s natural response to colour; people’s moods are influenced by different hues as the different wavelengths of colour elicit not just psychological, but even physiological responses. Gradations of light and colour shift depending on viewpoint and focus, creating an intimate and visceral real-time relationship between the pavilion and its viewer.

Intended to provoke curiosity and interest, the pavilion’s height and vibrancy of colour are meant to stand in counterpoint to its surroundings. raffles place is an urbanized environment: densely built, polished and monochromatic. in contrast, the pavilion is soft-edged, visually light, polychromatic, and ephemeral — with just a two week lifespan. the curtains are composed of multiple layers of netting to achieve overall density in colour and form, while saturation is calibrated by the proximity between layers.

Courtesy of DP Architects

Courtesy of DP Architects

The Archifest Pavilion is built on the grounds of Raffles place park and will be open to the public from 23 September to 9 October 2016. The two-week long event will be anchored at the pavilion, featuring exhibitions, conversations, Architours and other fringe events.

– The Archifest Pavilion is 22 metres in height and takes up 1010sqm across Zoysia Lawn of Raffles Place Park.
– A total of 19,000sqm of netting will be used to construct the Archifest pavilion.
– 70 tonnes of scaffolding pipes form the skeleton of the pavilion.
– 10 different hues of netting will be used in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Archifest.
– This will be the first time pink safety netting will be used in Singapore.

Courtesy of DP Architects

Courtesy of DP Architects

Jury Citation
The winning design was chosen out of 25 submissions received, anonymously selected by a distinguished panel of four jury members representing Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) and International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). DP Architect’s design was selected to offer a respite from hectic city life and impressed the jury with its smart approach with zero waste. Composed entirely of construction site materials, the gigantic technicolour urban sculpture plays on the interaction of multiple primary colour layers that overlap to create a playful psychedelic pavilion.

The Archifest pavilion at Raffles Place needs to contend with the unique challenges of the site. Dominated by a large clutch of some of the tallest buildings in Singapore and a cavalcade of podium facades, forms, shapes and people, it needs to plug itself into the urban fold seamlessly. It has to exert an adequate pull to passers-by into itself and offer to the visitors an alternative to its surroundings. It needs to be an easy fit when there are large crowds, accommodating many with ease yet quietly being when less frequented; to act as a foil against the intensity of the almost monochromatic solidity which is its immediate surroundings; a certain boldness yet softness, at night a lantern for Raffles Place.

The Pavilion designed by DP Architects is the excellent resolution of these challenges. In the Pavilion’s complete encapsulation of the two lawns at Raffles Place Park and the introduction of a polychromatic character, it allows the extraction of the notion of ‘Exhale’ through an animation of relaxation, using the wind at a scale that will have urban impact. By encircling an immense space with a screen of diaphanous “fabric”, it holds out the promise of a subtle and calibrated development of what the jury sees as its key conceptual strength. It will become a splendid banner for the Festival, a place where colour, shade and density of a simple material can be curated for intent and be imbued with meaning.

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