TOP 10 temporary structures and pavilions of 2019

TOP 10 temporary structures and pavilions of 2019

2019 has seen an extraordinary array of temporary structures and pavilions realized for events, festivals, and various occasions around the world. tasked with a smaller budget, scale, and a refined brief, architects, designers, and artists have been challenged to craft their proposals with more detail, often focusing on engineering methods to engage with people’s senses. this culmination of art and architecture continues our annual review of the year’s BIG stories, as we take a look at the TOP 10 temporary structures and pavilions that caught our eye over the past 12 months.



1 – BUGA fibre pavilion made with robotically-produced fiber composites

TOP 10 temporary structuresimage © ICD/ITKE university of stuttgart



the university of stuttgart’s institute for computational design and construction (ICD) and institute for building structures and structural design (ITKE) again teamed up to design and fabricate (with the help of robots) a pavilion made from advanced fiber composites. embedded within the landscape of a park in the german city of heilbronn, the structure combines cutting-edge computational technologies with constructional principles found in nature.

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2 – anagram architects constructs ‘people’s pavilion’ for kochi-muziris biennale

TOP 10 temporary structures
image by suryan//dang



the kochi-muziris biennale (KMB) is billed as ‘the largest contemporary art festival in asia’. every two years, a series of abandoned factories and warehouses in the indian state of kerala are repurposed as galleries and cafés that host a variety of activity. additionally, a pavilion is constructed to host performance and cinematic art at fort kochi-mattancherry’s cabral yard — a one acre campus full of large trees. on this occasion, curator anita dube commissioned new delhi-based firm anagram architects to design a temporary structure.

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3 – steam-bent timber pavilion at tallinn architecture biennale 2019

TOP 10 temporary structuresimage © tõnu tunnel



in september, the 5th edition of the tallinn architecture biennale (TAB 2019) opened in estonia, with a host of exhibitions and installations presented under the theme ‘beauty matters’. curated by london-based architect yael reisner, the festival celebrates architecture’s aesthetic experience and aims to ‘elevate the status of beauty in response to alienating and ecologically unfit built environments’. outside the biennale’s main venue, the museum of estonian architecture, stands one of the event’s most eye-catching projects — a steam-bent timber pavilion.

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4 – glenn murcutt’s MPavilion 2019 in melbourne

TOP 10 temporary structuresimage by john gollings



in november, MPavilion 2019, the sixth installment of an ongoing series of architect-designed summer pavilions, opened in melbourne, australia. previewed on designboom here, the temporary structure has been designed by glenn murcutt — the 2002 recipient of the pritzker architecture prize. inspired by murcutt’s 50-year career, MPavilion 2019 celebrates australian design and identity with a free four-month season of events from november 14, 2019 to march 22, 2020.

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5 – ​francis kéré’s coachella installation comprises 12 colorful towers

TOP 10 temporary structuresimage by lance gerber, courtesy of coachella



architect ​francis kéré is one of a number of creatives that brought their talents to the colorado desert for the annual coachella festival. as part of the event, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary, a series of specially-commissioned, large-scale, sculptural installations was created, as well as a number of immersive, multimedia experiences that embraced the visual arts, fashion, and architectural practice.

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6 –  studio marco vermeulen builds wooden biobasecamp pavilion

studio marco vermeulen builds against climate change with wooden biobasecamp pavilion designboomimage © ronald tilleman



for dutch design week 2019, studio marco vermeulen brought ‘the wooden revolution’ to ketelhuisplein in eindhoven with the ‘biobasecamp’ pavilion. built using timber, the project showcased the structural possibilities of the material in an effort to encourage a new era of environmentally-friendly construction.

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7 – junya ishigami tops 2019 serpentine pavilion with slate roof canopy

image © iwan baan



the 2019 serpentine pavilion, the temporary structure erected each year in london’s hyde park, opened in june. the pavilion was designed by junya ishigami — known for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena. ‘my design for the pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasizing a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made out of rocks,’ explained the japanese architect.

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8 – selgascano’s 2015 serpentine pavilion re-opens in los angeles

image by iwan baan, courtesy of second home



the 2015 serpentine pavilion, originally constructed in london’s kensington gardens, traveled to the united states where it was rebuilt at LA’s la brea tar pits. designed by spanish architecture studio selgascano, the temporary pavilion is an an immersive, chrysalis-like structure covered in a translucent, multi-colored fabric membrane — allowing the public to experience architecture through shape, light, transparency, and materials.

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9 – pavilion by pezo von ellrichshausen echos its milanese surroundings

image © designboom



in april, chilean architecture studio pezo von ellrichshausen created a pavilion within milan’s baroque palazzo litta, described as a ‘direct echo of its historical surroundings’. conceived for the 2019 edition of milan design week, the structure directly related to the dimensions and proportions of its historic setting, which was completed in 1761. the enclosure, which remained open to the sky, repeated the square ratio of the courtyard with four entrance points providing access to a central room.

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10 – NUDES fabricates the ‘bookworm’ pavilion to foster a love of reading

NUDES fabricates the 'bookworm' pavilion to foster a love of reading in india designboomimage © sameer chawda



design studio NUDES used architecture to tackle the issue of illiteracy in india. the project — which is aptly titled ‘bookworm’ — takes the form of a deployable pavilion that has been erected on a site in mumbai. designed to create an interactive learning space, the main concept behind the intervention is to encourage children to enjoy reading, in line with the UN’s sustainable development goal for ‘all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, to achieve literacy and numeracy’ by 2030.

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see designboom’s TOP 10 stories archive:

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

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