Combining art, architecture and technology, Los Angeles-based architectural firm Montalba Architects recently completed a temporary pop-up pavilion for the annual Bex & Arts sculpture triennial that’s designed to be easily disassembled and reused for future events. Set on a movable foundation that allows for minimal site impact, the Bex & Arts pavilion briefly served as a fabrication studio, exhibition space and information center on a clearing surrounded by the dramatic Swiss mountains. The lightweight structure was prefabricated in about ten days and installed with a crane on site in less than a week.
Measuring just 430 square feet in size, the Bex & Arts Pavilion is one of several small-scale projects of Montalba Architects, which was recently recognized as Los Angeles’ Best Contemporary Architecture Firm in 2019 by Angeleno magazine. “Small structures and compact spaces present an unparalleled opportunity to exquisitely, and rigorously, realize the interplay between form and substance, and intersect architecture with art,” the firm says.
Montalba Architects’ Bex & Arts pavilion was prefabricated with high-performance Kerto wood panels made from peeled spruce, a custom perforated panel facade— comprising narrow, black vertical panels with voids— that lets natural light in while adding visual interest, and mineral-based Swisspearl floor panels selected for their lightweight qualities, durability, fire resistance and sustainability. The lightweight structural wood panels have also been applied to the floor and open shelving, which not only provide exhibition space but also help support the structure.
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For the 2017 Bex & Arts sculpture triennial, the pavilion served as a visitor’s center, exhibition space for the work of invited designers and working fabrication studio where FabLab, a small-scale workshop, was open to the public for rapid prototyping. The pavilion received awards from the AIA California Council and American MasterPrize.
Images by Delphine Burtin