The astonishing Times Eureka Pavilion at the Chelsea Flower Show takes us deep into the structure of a leaf with its biomimetic design. The newly completed pavilion is set amidst a bounty of flowing plants, and it takes structural cues from the intricate growing patterns of leaves. Marcus Barnett Landscape Architects created the “veins” out of sustainably harvested spruce and inserted plastic “cells” into the pavilion to bring visitors into the foliage to experience the textural composition of plants. Read on for a closer look at this stunning project!
Like the old ride at Disneyland Adventure Through Inner Space where you shrunk in scale to see the world of the very small the Times Eureka Pavilion takes us deep into the structure of a leaf. Working in conjunction with NEX Architecture, Barnett took a deeply scientific approach to the project. Using computer algorithms that mimic the growth of plants, the team came up with a modular structure.
Main branches made from wooden spruce panels are interconnected to form the building’s main support system, and smaller wooded cells or cassettes are inserted into the spaces, mimicking the Epidermal cellular structure of a leaf. Plastic strips are coiled into round forms, abstracting the internal cells. The plastic elements diffuse daylight as it enters the pavilion, giving the interior space a sense of intimacy.
The roof is covered in glass and rainwater is channeled through the pavilion’s “veins” and diffused directly into the ground. The installation will be moved from its temporary home to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
Photos © NEX