WOW Architects was one of four shortlisted firms to design the first-ever pavilion for Singapore’s Archifest. Their design for Wonder | Wall took inspiration from the location at Fort Canning Park and was a response to the duality of the site. The quiet park is reflected in the intimate volume, while the nearby vibrant and bustling Clarke Quay is accessible via the permeable membrane of the pavilion. The skeleton of the pavilion was constructed with a box-truss systems developed for the Formula One Night race and the National Day Parade. Then it was covered in a web of Versiweb, which is a membrane used to control soil erosion. Volunteers donated time to recycled plastic bottles into planters that were then placed in the “pockets” of the Versiweb to create a living space.
The pavilion features three spaces for events: a fully enclosed display area for intimate occasions; a semi-enclosed stage; and an outdoor screen for movie nights. Straw mats were inserted into the web and were used by visitors to create a welcoming and comfortable experience. Now that the festival is over, the pavilion will be dismantled and all the elements will be completely reused or recycled. The stage and truss system will be re-used in other commercial events along with the future National Day parades. The Versiweb membrane will be used in the area for slope protection and stabilization or donated to other projects with similar needs. The plants and straw mats will be donated to visitors who can take them home for further enjoyment.
WOW director, James Tan, who led the Pavilion design team comments, “WOW’s design ethos has always been to challenge and explore new and innovative ways to create experientially rich spaces that are environmentally as well as economically sustainable for all our projects. In the pavilion design, a simple material (Versiweb) was used to create exciting and intriguing spaces that met all the requirements of the competition brief. The Versiweb forms a permeable skin for the pavilion, allowing natural ventilation whilst providing shelter from the sun and rain. When viewed at different angles, the Pavilion seems to disappear and merged with the surroundings. In another instance, while walking alongside the pavilion, a “moire effect” is created due to the double layering effect. The Pavilion design is also intended to be a “highly interactive platform” for the activities of the Archifest. Straw mats are inserted in the Versiweb “pockets” to encourage visitors to use them for seminars or picnics around the Pavilion.”
Images ©C3M Studio and WOW Architects