Designer : Synthesis Design + Architecture, Los Angeles, USA
Location: Rome and Milano, Italy
SDA has won the “Switch to Pure” competition with an innovative concept of pavilion for the Volvo V-60.
Los Angeles-based firm Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA) has won the “Switch to Pure” competition. The latter consisted in designing a portable pavilion to showcase the new Swedish hybrid-electric car Volvo V60.
Volvo’s competition, which was co-organized by international architecture magazine The Plan, called for an innovative and original design of a temporary pavilion that would express a “strong and creative identity”. The aim was to showcase the car at fairs and open air presentations at Italian squares. SDA’s approach consisted in using the car’s flexible and sustainable design as a basis for reimagining the typical trade show pavilion.
The sinuously-designed pavilion is composed of a moiré-patterned, PVC-coated polyester fabric imbedded with flexible photovoltaic panels which are themselves tensioned over CNC-bent aluminium rods. The pavilion’s three sections echo the three modes of the car — hybrid, gas, and all-electric. The curved shape was not only motivated by design considerations but also comes off as practical: its torqued compression between frame and skin enables the structure to stand without any extra support.
The pavilion itself is highly mobile. In SDA’s proposal, it is shown arriving on site in the back of a V60, completely collapsed into a small tent bag. The bendy solar panels will power the car while it is on display, and the whole installation can be broken down into small parts for transportation. The PVC fabric gets folded up and the aluminium tubes shrink down just like tent poles.
The use of lightweight high-tech materials and photovoltaic power generation makes the pavilion extremely cost-effective for fabrication, transportation, and installation. This is another factor that weighed heavy in the jury’s decision. It does not require a large crew nor the use of a truck or other additional equipment for installation.
The first stop for the fair will be Rome in September, followed by Milan. Volvo also considers using the display around the world.
Technical info: PVC coated Polyester fabric
Picture credits: Synthesis Design + Architecture