Empty Pavilion

The Empty Pavilion is a meditation on Detroit’s evacuated context and an experiment in architecture’s ability to activate a latent public in the city. The pavilion is designed as a collection of architectural figures drawn-in-space, each a single line tracery of a lattice of platonic solids. These lines are then “relaxed” to loosely approximate the rigorous geometry underlying their inception – yielding a fleeting legibility of geometric intricacy, as well as an affect of entropy that recasts the aesthetics of urban decay in order to divorce that aesthetic from narratives of decline. From certain vantage points the project recalls familiar architectural elements that may entice memory. 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 relationship between the pavilion and its site is meant to lend definition to the otherwise un-variegated surrounding emptiness and vaguely recall the site’s history. Located in an empty field that was once divided into a series of residential lots, the project loosely describes the volume of the house that once sat in its place.