TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
image © iwan baan




the past twelve months have seen a wealth of temporary projects realized in a variety of unique locations, all of which explore how a structure can fulfill an important purpose, if only transiently.


schemes of this nature are incredibly challenging for architects, with low budgets and short timescales. however, there is also an element of freedom involved, which allows for a greater level of invention and detail – both of which may not be possible on larger projects. often conceived as public buildings, the designs must also function at a human scale, in many cases interacting with their occupants.


the most viewed works, documented below, encompass a diverse range of different materials and sizes, truly testing the limits of architectural innovation and engineering.






serpentine gallery pavilion by sou fujimoto


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
image © iwan baan




sou fujimoto‘s serpentine pavilion was open to the public from june until october of this year. the scheme’s cloud-like appearance is a composition of 20mm pipes, which are arranged in a lattice formation inviting visitors to interact with the structure; one may climb the ‘rungs’ of its skeleton framework, taking in alternative views of the site.






cardboard cathedral by shigeru ban


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
image courtesy of shigeru ban architects




asked to design a temporary sacred space for the christchurch congregation, shigeru ban‘s cardboard cathedral in new zealand is constructed of 98 beams, each enclosed in cardboard, forming a strong and recyclable structure capable of accommodating up to 700 people.






a-kamp47 stealth shelters by malka architecture


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo by laurent garbit
image courtesy of malka architecture




comprised of twenty-three separate units, the stephane malka project utilizes the mobile and lightweight characteristics of a pop-up tent, while at the same time unifying the individual structures in order to protect against cold weather and vandalism. a socially and politically charged scheme, the design questions whether this vertical plot is public or private property.






fukita pavilion by ryue nishizawa


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo © jacomejp




two gently sweeping curved planes form a sheltered internal volume, which provides a raised seating area through a crescent shaped bench. a single tree rises through the ryue nishizawa design, puncturing the floor and roof surfaces, further establishing the project’s close relationship with nature.






trylletromler by FABRIC


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo © walter herfst
image courtesy of FABRIC




the contemporary ‘fence’ addresses a blurred threshold of inside and outside with a maze that is as transparent as it is restrictive. FABRIC‘s design forms an enclosure which creates a kinetic impression of movement through the endless repetition of simple vertical elements.






pop up canopy in dashilar by people’s architecture office


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013




the pop-up canopy is a lightweight design by people’s architecture office, which re-appropriates photography reflectors as sun-shading. the entire project can be folded into a small package for storage and can be quickly deployed with minimal effort.






temporary dormitories for mae tao clinic by a.gor.a architects


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
image courtesy of a.gor.a architects




built within four weeks, the temporary dwellings immediately fit into the local environment. designed by a.gor.a architects, each timber frame is easy to disassemble and assemble in a new location with seasonal bamboo and thatch applied to the walls, floors, and roofs.






mark’s house by two islands


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo © gavin smith
image courtesy of two islands




the temporary dwelling, by two islands, cantilevers one storey above ground, on top of a mirrored pedestal, and is coated in a reflective mylar skin, allowing it to blend with its surroundings. this finish changes with the weather conditions, stretching or wrinkling with the varying amounts of moisture in the air.






rising moon by daydreamers design


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo © raymond tam
image courtesy of daydreamers design




4,800 polycarbonate water bottles act as individual beacons, referencing the cavernous shape of traditional chinese paper lanterns. developed by hong kong-based studio daydreamers design, the LED torches are attached to pre-fabricated triangular modules and are assembled as a pavilion, whose interior is fitted with a sea of 2,300 hanging bottles.






ark nova by anish kapoor and arata isozaki


TOP 10 temporary structures of 2013
photo © lucerne festival arknova 2013




‘ark nova’, the world’s first inflatable concert hall, will tour areas of japan that were devastated in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. the structure, the collaborative work of anish kapoor and arata isozaki, has the capacity to hold around 500 people, where luminescent purple walls create a billowing interior fitted with handcrafted benches and an intimate stage.