Following the success of Pavilion Babs, IA have formed a collaborative ‘Make:it_Brum’ with structural engineers at Arup. Over the past two years, together we have introduced and run a series of workshops with school children aged 13–15 in Birmingham, to provide insights into careers in construction through working on a live-project, which we would design and build with them, this year for UK Construction Week. Held at the NEC, UKCW is the biggest gathering of industrial professionals in the country. As an outcome of this we were also featured on BBC Breakfast (BBC1), to discuss our project, as well as a main stage panel interview.
The focus of the workshops was to design (and build) a pavilion as a seating area, to offer a moment of contemplation, as well as showcasing digital and innovative fabrication and lighting techniques. Thanks also to Alessandro Columbano / Birmingham Co:lab for presenting an introductory talk on architecture.
As a group, we developed the detail design of the pavilion using Valchromat, a recycled fiberboard material, to reference the colours and form designed by the winning school team.
Built in 7 hours, and composed of over 250 dry-joined timber pieces, yellow ‘slot’ components set the unique and alternate angles, creating a folded and pleated timber structure. With a total highest height of 2.5m, the diameter of the pavilion was 5m.
In both instances, the collaborative design process between architect and engineer was an exciting opportunity to further links between the two fields while using innovation as a driver for the project.
The atmospheric lighting was sponsored by Erco, and supplied by Arup light specialists. Using Philips Hue and the ‘If This,Then That (IFTTT)’ software we provided a reactive lighting design, when a tweet was made regarding UK Construction Week, the lights would alter colour to reflect the increased activity about the show.
We were also delighted for winning school team member Adam, who opened UK construction week in Birmingham, with George Clarke.
- Paul Miller