TOGS, Austin, Texas, 2010
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The challenge of this competition was to reinvent a pavilion for outdoor fairs. The requirements were
very demanding with regard to flexibility. The pavilion had to be usable for different art mediums
(painting, sculpture, architecture, photography...) and it had to be portable, which implies easy to
transport, build and dismantle.
The reference image we have chosen for our proposal is an encampment, which is flexible, easy and fast to build and temporary in use. We have chosen to place the TOGS on the bridge which offers great visibility from the surroundings, an impressive panoramic view over the Colorado river and the largest width in the competition area. Moreover the existing pedestrian lanes located on both sides of the bridge could be used as an emergency route, and if the bridge is used as the exhibition area, the necessary changes in the traffic routes in the area would be minimal. read more
The pavilion consists of four elements: a modular plastic platform, an helium filled balloon, aluminium
poles and wrapping.
The 1m x 1m modular and hollow element of the platform is made out of plastic (possibly made out of recycled materials) and is easily storable and transportable. Thanks to its light weight it can be mounted with minimal use of manpower.
Once placed on site, this elements will be filled with water to ensure the stability of the platform. Through a tank truck equipped with a purifier, the water taken from the river will be injected into the elements. After the exhibition the water will be put back into the river.
The platforms will be covered by balloons filled with a mix of hot air and helium. They will be anchored to the ground by thin metal wires. As there is no connection between the base and cover, the plan will be free to be adapted to the different requirements of each artist. This means infinite flexibility.
Each artist invited for the exhibition will receive an e-mail with a schematic illustration of the four major families (and their ramifications) of the possible spatial organization of the pavilion. The artist will have the possibility to choose the layout, that best fits his/her needs and the art medium chosen. The artist also will have the option to propose a new scheme.
The last step will be the simple mounting of the two remaining elements: the poles and the wrapping. Once the poles have been mounted into the holes of the platform, the space will be wrapped with a material that can be chosen from several options (according to the preferences of the artist).
“Art is placed in a range between heaviness and lightness.”
“I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities”
Italo Calvino, “Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Chapter 1: Lightness”
Site: Austin, Texas
Program: Temporary outdoor exposition pavilion
Client: Art Alliance Austin
Key Team Members: Marco de Piaggi, Federico Caputo, Weronika Wawrzyniak