What was the most difficult issue about working within this project type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your design?
Pavilions tend to be temporary structures that, in most cases, have very little time to get designed, assembled and dismantled. For that very reason, we think there is a great responsibility in how we make decisions during the design process. Choosing the right materials and construction systems becomes crucial in shaping the final design.
It may not have been unexpected, but the greatest challenges in this particular project were time and budget. The pavilion needed to be fabricated and assembled in less than two weeks with a really tight construction budget. Thus, the design process for the pavilion focused on searching systems that could easily engage and transform the existing space with the minimum elements possible.
Furthermore, we faced the challenge of working with an exemplary building from the 50´s conceived originally by Matthias Goeritz as a sensorial experiment. As a result, the intervention tries to strengthen the key assets of the original museum, creating an extension of the architectural experiment that the original building pursues.
Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect or designer in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the designer is changing on current projects?
Every single commission represents a new set of challenges, and therefore signifies a natural change of perspective from which the project is seen. Any project that goes through a process of analysis and reasoning creates a new platform from which to evolve again. Due to its physical, economic and social context, the team acknowledges each individual project as a unique challenge that requires a precise and customized design process for their successful conceptualization and maturity, consequently, each project becomes naturally a new reference for the upcoming ones.
How is your project possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?
On the contrary, the project for the ECO pavilion could have been done hundreds of years ago in the exact same manner as we built it this time. The exploration was not focused on using new technologies but rather on re-thinking the traditional solutions within a contemporary architectural challenge. In that sense, we believe that precedents become a really important ingredient for a design-driven office to tackle the needs of today´s complex society.
In the context of this project, how is your studio and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?
Current trends in academic curricula tend to develop ideas as quick yet deep explorations on one specific architectural or urban aspect. Pavilions tend to be thought under the same principles, so in a way, they go through similar processes. Our office has been deliberately involved in various academic projects and there is no doubt that there is a correlation between the work that we do in our studio and the work we develop with students. We think about academia as an integral part of an design related practice.