Bruno Zevi once said that space is the protagonist of architecture because “ … architecture is like a great hollowed-out sculpture which man enters and apprehends by moving about within it.”
The Pavilion is conceived as a solid block, carefully carved to form three distinctive typologies of space: the space within, the space above, and the space around. Each in a different relationship with the space beyond.
The ‘space within’ is gouged to create a contained enclosure, with shafts of natural light that penetrate the space. This is the heart of the pavilion and a space for gathering, interacting, viewing, listening and socialising.
The ‘space above’ is an incision in the top surface of the block. It is accessed from a narrow passage and it elevates the visitors above the ground to connect them with the activities occurring on the ground and the space beyond. From this privileged position they become observers on a belvedere.
The ‘space around’ is an open, limitless space that has the power to influence and be influenced by the urban environment in which it is placed. It can become a location for activity, relaxation, or both.
The layered nature of the building resembles the strata found in natural formations. The hollows between them provide transparency, and visitors can view in without necessarily accessing the building.
By day the Pavilion tends to blend with its surrounding. By night it becomes a beacon in its territory.
A shallow pool of water is a further extension of the ‘space around’ that extends into the ‘space within’, creating a dynamic link between the two spaces. A waterspout will disrupt flatness by creating ripples in the water’s surface.
An in-depth survey of the area originates a diagram representative of the territory that can be employed to connect the building to its context, thus establishing conceptual relationships between the site and its surroundings.
The scheme calls to place a simple typology in the landscape. The building is raised up from the ground to provide views out towards the sea and the landscape and to engage with it.
Island of Atka, Alaska, USA