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Draft:  The Light  pavilion

Design & Management:  ESCULPIR EL AIRE


Collaborators:  Gonzalo Vargas


Landscape Team : Esculpir el Aire  


Location:  Matola. Spain

Photographs: José Ángel Ruiz Cáceres  

Photographs :  Laura White  


When we were proposed to design an open-air Pavilion-Terrace, in the middle of an immense plain –with no physical limits to delimit it– we were very clear that, in order to see the magnificent sunset that the place offers us every afternoon (with infinite colors), the new generated space had to be WHITE.


In order to offer a new organization of the environment where the new activity (restaurant) is proposed, it is first necessary to carefully analyze how it works and what its guidelines are. And we are not only talking about topography but also about solar orientation, nearby buildings, the existence of roads or valleys, nearby roads, etc.  

Our environment spoke to us of a main access road for arrival, of a kitchen door where the dishes have to come out, of a topography that directs us –in descent– towards a specific area of the land, of a sunset in the west …


Designing a space in such a vast place can only be undertaken through landscape design mechanisms, that is, through the formal and material manipulation of surfaces that are articulated with the existing environment. Thus, the proposed new space does not establish a closed body called the Pavilion, but instead organizes the surfaces of the cantilevered roof, of the cut vertical planes, of the access and connection ramps, of the solar protections, of the sequence of fine pillars of the parking…  In other words, the intervention acquires meaning by ORCHESTRATINGLY ARTICULATING all the surfaces that intervene in the composition.


The apparently simple geometry of the Pavilion arises from the desire to materialize the circulatory flows that develop around its approach. The initial rigid rectangular shape gradually dismantles itself to articulate (in a different way) to the dynamic flows that happen around it: it opens, unfolds, moves, delays...   


Its white skin acquires its full meaning when it is folded and perforated. Its manipulation amplifies the articulation with the environment and also with the presence of the users' skin. The air passes through the surfaces, just as the night light will do when it gets dark, because the Pavilion will not superimpose the lighting on its surfaces (as is usual) but the light will form part of its skin and pass through them to reach up to us. 

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