BRUSSELS (BE) - This year all Belgium is celebrating Expo 58, the World's Fair staged 50 years ago in Brussels. To house the string of anniversary exhibitions and film shows being organized around the history of the World's Fairs, young architectural practice V+ designed a 'Pavilion of Temporary Happiness' at the foot of the Atomium, Belgium's number one icon and itself a relic of Expo 58.
The 800 m2 pavilion is being constructed from 33,000 beer crates, a prefab building block that reduces assembly time to an absolute minimum of just three weeks. The pavilion is like one huge meta-crate consisting of two internal spaces and one external space.
The beer-crate building blocks test the limits of their structural capacities in the process of forming such architectural archetypes as columns, arches and domes. The material and the profiling of the beer crates create a very special quality of light penetration. The result is a pavilion with a vast and enigmatic, almost hallowed, interior space reminiscent of a mosque or a baroque church.
After six months the pavilion will be dismantled and the beer crates will return to their normal cycle of use. Around 50% of the total construction, including foundations and finishings, is recyclable, something that should give us pause to consider the temporariness of exhibition architecture. And as everyday articles from our consumer society, the beer-crate building blocks are a contemporary reflection on the optimistic belief in progress and its attendant mass consumption that permeated the 1958 World's Fair. (Veronique Boone)
Colour, Ecocentric, Plastic |