In conversation with Johan Bettum, Klaus Bollinger and Nikolaus Hirsch
Städelschule Architecture Class
Lecture Series Winter Semester 2008-9
The Pavilion: Interim Passage and Polemics
During the Winter Semester the Architecture Class presents a series of public lectures that address the pavilion as typology and idea in relation to architecture and the arts. The series continues the Architecture Class’ endeavor to tap into and map the potent relationship between these two fields.
The lecture series investigates the pavilion in both historical and contemporary terms and poses a series of questions that begin unravel the role of the pavilion as essentially a formative and polemical architectural typology. Whether temporary or permanent, designed for a single function – and always for pleasure, the pavilion has been and is used in the promotional service of states and corporations, to house a unique and small selection of art objects, or simply for pleasurable accommodation.
As an architectural object, the pavilion has offered illustrious architects, from Schinkel, via Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frei Otto, to Toyo Ito and Zaha Hadid the opportunity to present new and unique architectural ideas. It is the quintessential, pure embodiment of architecture.
As a gazebo, the pavilion is used to orientate the visitors to the surroundings; as an art pavilion, the structure serves as a space that is orientated to its own interior to enable the reverence of a selection of art works. In other instances, the pavilion is an interim passage that negotiates between other spaces and offers a moment of respite and enjoyment.
But what happens when the distinction between inside and outside are momentary blurred; the discrete identities of container and contained are obfuscated; or time and place as dimensions we need to orientate ourselves, are seemingly expanded or collapsed beyond the ostensibly rational due to technological incursion? Where does this leave the pavilion as we have come to know it, and how does it render the relation between architecture and art?