as another year winds down we take a step back to admire all the innovation and beauty that has been created in 2012 amidst a turbulent seaof economic crisis and a drought in construction. architecture is gradually making a shift from the permanent to the ephemeral, exploring the ways in which a structure that will only last a limited amount of time can still serve a useful purpose, make a statement and hold its groundas successfully as if it were indefinitely embedded into the ground.  usually faced with unique sites and lower budgets, 2012 has seen a new species of installations that push the limits of material and invention, assuring that deconstruction is as beneficial as assembly whether the project will be taken down for good or simply relocated to a different site.


the following ten projects, presented in no particular order, illustrate the most viewed temporary spaces / installations created this last yearas shining examples of effective transient structures. although some projects may currently remain on a long term basis, they still herald the attributes and methodology of temporary structures, therefore warranting a spot on the list.







1. ‘endessa solar pavilion’ by IAAC


designed by the institute for advance architecture of catalonia (IAAC) as part of the 2012 smart city expo in barcelona, the ‘endesa pavilion’ is a highly efficient shelter which is built to meet very specific energetic and comfort needs, built on the surface without actually causing anypermanent change to the ground. the pavilion is a great example of how a commonly used material can be reinterpreted to create astoundingforms while serving a specific function.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘endesa pavilion’ by IAAC, barcelona, spain image © adria goula







2. BMW olympic pavilion in london by serie architects 


evoking the form of the victorian bandstand, the structure is defined by a classical podium with an immaterial presence, featuring a thin layer of water on the first floor which then sheathes the sides of the rectangular volume with falling water sourced from the river, creating free air conditioning that uses no resources. the pavilion uses its nearby resources to create a new cooling system that can essentially be adapted to many structures around the world.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘BMW group pavilion’ by serie architects, london, UK image © edmund sumner







3. ‘eco-perch’ by blue forest


the ‘eco-perch’ is a quick to install luxury tree house unit by east sussex-based architecture and construction firm blue forest. assembled with natural materials, the structure may be implemented within 5 days, minimally impacting the landscape with adequate site preparation beforehand. a great example of a typology that can be erected almost anywhere and relocated at any time, maintaining a unique form and language.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012image courtesy of blue forest







4. ‘holiday home for terrorists’ by thomas schütte


while this may be the most permanent structure on the list, the project rests in a small forest clearing and is actually not considered a ‘home’ by its owner or creator, as it is more of an art installation that criticizes contemporary architecture than an actual dwelling.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘holiday home for terrorists’ by thomas schütte, mösern, austriaimage © nic tenwiggenhorn







5. ‘russian pavilion at the 2012 venice architecture biennale’ by SPEECH


curator and architect sergei tchoban (along with partner sergei kuznetsov) of SPEECH techoban / kuznetsov  have designed the russian pavilion for the 2012 architecture biennale. divided into two parts, ‘i-city’ and ‘i-land‘ address russia’s past and future in a highly interactive experience. the removable panels exemplify a temporary interior that not only creates a visual atmosphere but provides information as well, completely removableat the end of its life cycle.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘i-city’ curated by sergei tchoban for the russian pavilion at the 2012 architecture biennale in veniceimage © designboom







6. ‘between air’ by selgascano

the installation consists of a system of suspended and connected airpots: porous cylindrical forms made from recycled plastics. the holes bring light to the root system, which eventually reaches the open air and dries out, constantly pruning the roots and encouraging them to grow radially rather than lineally. more than an architectural form, this temporary component can be installed in just about any space and demands attentionwith its unique kinetic characteristics and innovative aesthetic



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘between air’ by selgascano in collaboration with josep selga and juan laureano, spanish pavilion, venice architecture biennaleimage © designboom







7. ‘sustainable pavilion’ by st. andré-lang architectes


armed with a 7000€ budget st. andré-lang architectes have designed ‘tourner autour du ried’ a 20 sqm housing prototype constructed in a protected area in the village of muttersholtz, in the north-east of france. the pavilion has been designed to follow a simple generative shape, namely a circle, allowing for views of the entire surrounding landscape. easily acquired natural materials are assembled in new ways to createnew spaces that act in harmony with nature, allowing their organic decomposition to become part of the cycle of the structure.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012 ‘tourner autour du ried’ by st. andré-lang architectes, muttersholtz, france







8. ‘olympic shooting venue’ by magma architecture


located in the woolwich district of london, magma architecture‘s ‘olympic shooting venue’ will host this summer’s marksmen events for the 10, 25, and 50 meter ranges. comprised of two partially-closed structure and one fully-enclosed center, the temporary constructions are fully mobile, easily dismantled and reassembled when needed leaving no permanent damage to the footprint. the largest scale project onthe list, this is an example of just how big a project can be while still being considered temporary.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012 ‘olympic shooting venue’ by magma architecture, london, englandimage © hufton+crow







9. ‘people’s meeting dome’ by kristoffer tejlgaard and benny jepsen


this year’s people’s meeting in bornholm, denmark, is intended to spark debate and discussion about the future of housing. with a need for a venue, danish architects kristoffer tejlgaard and benny jepsen wanted to not only provide the space in which the event would take place, but also offer an independent piece that would in itself be a contribution. using modular units and universal connectors, the dome takes on the characteristic of adaptability, changing its size and shape to accommodate new uses, including disappearing altogether.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012 ‘people’s meeting dome’ by kristoffer tejlgaard and benny jepsen, bornholm, denmarkimage courtesy of kristoffer tejlgaard







10. ‘starlight project’ for burning man 2012


starlight’ by erich remash, jeremy berglund, don peterson and chad ingle is a modest sculptural installation that was presented at burning man 2012 and four other festivals. seven twelve-foot diameter plywood stars were placed in the black rock desert mapping out the constellation orion, creating a sense of place and a ‘heaven on earth’ effect. simple repeatable pieces are assembled on stands, allowing their overall shape and simplelighting to create a very powerful visual and spatial effect using a minimum of material and the negative space between.



designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012‘starlight’ – burning man lighting installation by erich remash, jeremy berglund, don peterson + chad ingleimage © trey ratcliff


designboom's top ten most viewed temporary spaces / installations of 2012check out designboom’s TOP TEN most viewed temporary spaces of 2011