Waste becomes an opportunity in this pavilion commissioned for the London offices of Bloomberg Philanthropy. The undulating structure made entirely of recovered cardboard and shipping pallets was pieced together by Liam Hopkins of Lazarium. Dubbed Pupa, the project is part of a larger art commission, “Waste Not Want It”, which called for the reuse of refuse to create inspired pieces. Pupa not only repurposed tons of cardboard and wood, but it created a valuable meeting space that takes advantage of the acoustic properties of cardboard.
The cardboard came in damp bales so it had to be pulped and re-fabricated locally. Nearly four thousand triangular components were assembled by folding strips to make triangular frames and inserting with fill pieces. The cells were glued together using a parametric computational map. The result is a cavern like space, intimate and sparse except the long cardboard table running the length of the installation. Chairs made from 180 wooden pallets and 252 leather cut offs complete the space. The acoustic properties of the cardboard skin add function to the meeting space as well, although the glare of lights seems to be a bit off mark.
The materiality of the cardboard and softness of the overall shape is an inviting non-pretentious alcove. The form and mass of the newly created space plays off well in the dull white interior. The project was developed to inspire employees to rethink what they take for granted — a common theme it seems this past year. It is also interesting how the cardboard, known for its strength and ubiquity, can also be used for space making and sound control, upping the stakes of the capacity of the brown stuff.