A prefabricated timber island has popped up in Lake Zurich to give visitors the chance to swim, meet, watch films, and even drink at a bar. Studio Tom Emerson collaborated with over thirty architecture students from ETH Zurich to realize the project, known as the Pavilion of Reflections, for Manifesta, the nomadic European Biennial of Contemporary art that changes its location every two years. The temporary Pavilion of Reflections takes center stage at this year’s event and will stay afloat for a hundred days.
The design for the Pavilion of Reflections was inspired by Zurich’s important bathing culture; the city is home to the world’s highest density of public swimming areas, which serve as social gathering spaces. With an open-air swimming pool at its center, the pavilion doubles as a venue for films, discussion, and as an art showcase. “We conceived the Pavillon of Reflections as a floating, multifunction platform with a giant LED screen, a stand for spectators, a swimming pool and a bar as the central forum for the mediatisation and reflection of all the new artistic productions at Manifesta 11”, says Christian Jankowski about the project. “In the daytime, the Pavillon of Reflections will function as an urban island, a meeting place and open-air swimming area, while at night it will be a venue to reflect on the artworks presented.”
The floating multi-functional platform was constructed primarily from wood and 150,000 screws. The structure was prefabricated and assembled offsite in facilities before it was transported and installed in place atop steel caissons. The wood was sourced from beetle-damaged soft wood culled from Swiss forests that would have otherwise been discarded if not used in the pavilion.
Images via Laurian Ghinitoiu