[Design of] the Empire of Silence pavilion

Graef, Alexander (2002) [Design of] the Empire of Silence pavilion. In: Expo 2002, 15 May - 20 Oct 2002, Bienne, Region des Trois Lacs, Switzerland.

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Official URL: http://www.pitch.uk.com/master.htm

Abstract

In April 2000, Alex Graef Associated Architects was engaged by Pitch°UK, exhibition designers to provide architectural and technical design input into an experience proposal to represent the telecommunications company Swisscom at the Expo 2002 exposition in Bienne, Switzerland. The Empire of Silence pavilion forms the architectural component of a wide ranging collaboration between writers, designers, composers and choreographers to achieve a narrative led three-dimensional experience loosely based on the concept of communication and performed on a regular basis for a duration of 6 months. Architecturally, the building reacts to a series of technical challenges: firstly, achievement of a climatically stable environment, taking into account significant visitor numbers and light and sound separation between a sequence of distinct spaces; secondly, the need to control and partially eliminate electromagnetic signals between different zones within the exhibition, necessitated by the inclusion of text messaging to visitor’s phones as part of the experience. In response, the external building fabric is separated into its functional components, enveloping a simple steel frame in a padded and perforated rubber membrane, protected by a stainless steel mesh rainscreen. Extensive research and testing was necessary, in particular in connection with the flat installation of the woven mesh, control of phone signals, as well as air permeability and fire properties of the externally used rubber. Of further research interest was the collaboration to develop an interactive exhibition throughout the entire building, using mobile phone technology for visitor monitoring and instant feedback. Research was disseminated via 1 million visitors, and through inclusion in the publication ‘ImagiNation; Das offizielle Buch der Expo02’, Verlag Neue Zuercher Zeitung, ISBN 3-85823-947-X, pp54-57. The pavilion was voted top out of 41 pavilions in visitor polling, according to Swisscom official communication, and won the ‘Live Event of the Year’ award at the AV Awards 2002 (UK) (see http://www.pitch.uk.com/).

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information:In April 2000, Alex Graef Associated Architects was engaged by Pitch°UK, exhibition designers to provide architectural and technical design input into an experience proposal to represent the telecommunications company Swisscom at the Expo 2002 exposition in Bienne, Switzerland. The Empire of Silence pavilion forms the architectural component of a wide ranging collaboration between writers, designers, composers and choreographers to achieve a narrative led three-dimensional experience loosely based on the concept of communication and performed on a regular basis for a duration of 6 months. Architecturally, the building reacts to a series of technical challenges: firstly, achievement of a climatically stable environment, taking into account significant visitor numbers and light and sound separation between a sequence of distinct spaces; secondly, the need to control and partially eliminate electromagnetic signals between different zones within the exhibition, necessitated by the inclusion of text messaging to visitor’s phones as part of the experience. In response, the external building fabric is separated into its functional components, enveloping a simple steel frame in a padded and perforated rubber membrane, protected by a stainless steel mesh rainscreen. Extensive research and testing was necessary, in particular in connection with the flat installation of the woven mesh, control of phone signals, as well as air permeability and fire properties of the externally used rubber. Of further research interest was the collaboration to develop an interactive exhibition throughout the entire building, using mobile phone technology for visitor monitoring and instant feedback. Research was disseminated via 1 million visitors, and through inclusion in the publication ‘ImagiNation; Das offizielle Buch der Expo02’, Verlag Neue Zuercher Zeitung, ISBN 3-85823-947-X, pp54-57. The pavilion was voted top out of 41 pavilions in visitor polling, according to Swisscom official communication, and won the ‘Live Event of the Year’ award at the AV Awards 2002 (UK) (see http://www.pitch.uk.com/).
Keywords:Architecture, Pavilions
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Architecture
ID Code:1385
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:15 Oct 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:18

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