Sometimes public spaces become old and boring and people forget about a small patch of grass, a courtyard, or a lovely big tree as it blends into an urban landscape. Students at the Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica explored these forgotten spaces by adding new and exciting pavilions to liven the place up. With help from Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architects and a very small budget, these student groups designed and built two pavilions out of recycled materials that explore space and light. Named Cascade of Light and Hidden Flashes, the pavilions help people rediscover their local landscape through a new lens.
In August 2014, Benjamin Garcia Saxe and Laura Morelli led an “International Workshop” at the Universidad Veritas in San Jose Costa Rica for a class of students. The month long workshop was intended to give the students time to design and build a real world project, deal with limitations of materials, create a space and elicit human emotions. Working on a very tight budget with limited resources, the students dreamed up simple and inexpensive ways to convey space, light and movement.
The group built two pavilions that were placed in abandoned park in the city with the intention that people would visit the park, experience the public space and regain interest in the oft-forgotten spaces of their city. Cascades of Light was built with a metal framework and recycled plastic string that is often use in local rocking chairs. Light streams through the clear strands and reflects through the waterfall of material. Visitors can lounge inside the space, look up at the tree, the passing clouds and the sky. The other pavilion, called Hidden Flashes is a plywood box that visitors step into. Once inside they see an array of hammered recycled nails lit from above through slits in the box.
Both pavilions have now been moved to a public plaza in the university, where the likely have had the same effect as they did in the abandoned space in the city. These built spaces help people reexamine and experience the landscape and nature from a new perspective.
Images ©Andres Garcia Lachner