Foster + Partners and NEON create colourful pavilions from "everyday" building materials

British studios Foster + Partners and NEON have created pavilions made from building materials, including ducting and recycled scaffolding, for this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

Located on plazas outside office buildings developed by Brookfield Properties, the two pavilions were designed as colourful gathering spaces that aim to encourage discussions around recycling.

Foster + Partners created the Radial pavilion. Photo by Aaron Hargreaves

“Designed as landmarks, the pavilions are inspired by themes of circularity, community and sustainability,” said Brookfield Properties.

Responding to the London Festival of Architecture‘s overarching theme of Reimagine, they utilise everyday materials in innovative ways, encouraging reflection on material recycling, reuse, and climate change.

Pavilion by Foster + Partners
Flags made from recycled waste were hung from reused scaffolding. Photo by Aaron Hargreaves

Located on a plaza outside the Principal Place office block, Foster + Partners created a colourful, rounded pavilion named Radial.

The design has a frame made from recycled scaffolding, with red, white and blue flags made from recycled waste hung in a radial pattern.

Red and blue flags hung in a pavilion
Wooden seating forms the base of the pavilion. Photo by Aaron Hargreaves

Wooden platforms at the base of the scaffolding form bench seating, intending to provide a place for reflection.

The flags’ colours were chosen in reference to the grading system used to reflect the earth’s rising temperature, which was developed by British scientist Ed Hawkins.

“[Radial] seeks to redefine the narrative surrounding temporary structures, shifting focus from the lifespan of the building to the lifecycle of the materials, leaving a positive legacy beyond its temporary existence,” said Foster + Partners associate partner Tom Bush.

“Taking inspiration from other retrofit projects that we are working on, we aimed to use as much existing building fabric as possible and confronted the unavoidable wastage of materials,” he continued.

“When given the chance to design a temporary pavilion, we led with the principles of reuse and circular economy, ensuring that the structure was responsible and environmentally sensitive.”

Squiggle pavilion by NEON for the London Festival of Architecture
NEON created the Squiggle pavilion from ducting

Nearby, outside the Citypoint tower, NEON used bright green and yellow flexible ducting to create the Squiggle pavilion, which has a winding, curling shape that visitors can sit on.

Typically used to transport gas, water and cables around the interior of structures, the off-the-shelf building material was transformed by artist Viliina Koivisto and architect Mark Nixon into a playful pavilion.

Squiggle pavilion by NEON
The yellow and green ducting curves around the plaza and forms seating

At the end of the Squiggle pavilion display, the ducting will be recycled into a range of products, including bags, bins, flowerpots, floor tiles and ropes.

As part of the London Festival of Architecture programme, Radial and Squiggle will be used as venues for community events and workshops throughout June.

Elsewhere in London, architect Minsuk Cho unveiled his star-shaped Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens and architect Peter Morris created a pink arched pavilion made from polystyrene-based imitation stone at Clerkenwell Design Week.

The photography is by PA Media unless stated.

London Festival of Architecture 2024 takes place from 1 to 30 June 2024 at various locations across London. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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