Two connected water molecules, representing the two big exhibition spaces, are wrapped by a versatile skin that gives a varying, transparent quality to the building.
This skin transforms the energy of the ocean into a vertical up and down movement, creating a vibrant image that is always in motion together with the waves and the tides.
James Tendayi Matsuku
Building area: 6128 sqm
Location: Yeosu, South Korea.
Client: Organizing Committee of the Expo 2012 Yeosu.
The old ambition of producing architecture in motion succeeds when it responds to the site and program requirements.
This proposal for the theme pavilion of 2012 Yeosu International Exhibition in South Korea aims for people to experience and understand the water and the ocean, which represent the main subject of the exhibition and the particular context in which the building is located.
In order to represent water through architecture, the dynamic and translucent qualities of the fluid are translated into details of the pavilion. The scheme is not bound to a solid state. It is always in motion materialising dynamism through the varying layers of transparency which wrap the building up. The visitor will be guided directly into a space where ocean and architecture coexist.
The design of the building represents a diagram of two water molecules connected with each other. This shape symbolises the interconnection of the two big exhibition spaces with four adjacent areas that complement them. The apparent random order of these "atoms" has, however, a justification regarding the master planning of the Expo site: the three principal axes connect the pavilion with the main boulevard, the building of the "big O" and the circulation loop of visitors.
These six circular spaces placed on the water are wrapped in a versatile skin. The membrane is made of two layers of horizontal louvers that give a varying transparent quality to the building. It is a mobile element that changes with the ocean movement and therefore does not imply power consumption.
This double external enclosure floats on the water level, allowing the slats to move vertically as a result of the tide and, through a simple mechanism, both layers approach each other. At the same time, the wave action produces an effect of continuous movement on the façade. The result of both displacements combined with the overlapping slats in different layers forms a diffuse and cyclic image of the interior, enhanced by the Moiré effect of the horizontal lines.
The pavilion image is reflected in the singularity of this osmotic skin that shows how the nature of water is a living part of the architecture and the visitor experience.