Who says you can't have a rainforest in the city? For this year’s London Festival of Architecture, Chilean-German architecture practice GUN Architects designed a tree-like pavilion made of pyramidal ‘stalactites’ that drip water to create a refreshing oasis in the heart of the city. Installed outside the Architectural Association (AA) in London’s Bedford Square, the Rainforest pavilion will remain on display for the duration of the festival.
The five-meter-high structure simulates the atmosphere of the rainforest and brings the exotic climate of South America to the streets of London. Seven columns with hexagonal tops create the framework for a canopy made of inverted pyramidal shapes. These are made from a material that allows them to acts as stalactites. While pyramidal stalactites dip water between the stones below, visitors can take advantage of the refreshed air and sit beneath the canopy to enjoy the forest-like environment.
The installation mimics the natural dynamics of the Chilean climate and makes water a protagonist of architecture. The first version of the pavilion, built in Santiago, Chile, in 2011, aimed to highlight the water shortage issue in Chile and won a Young Architects Prize.
Lead image by Valerie Bennett