by Khuskboo Vyas
From shoes to urban marvels; what does Zaha Hadid NOT design? ‘Volu’ the dining pavilion, her latest brainchild, was just revealed at this year’s Design Miami Fair. Designed along with Patrik Schumacher as a team, this piece is an artistic installation with an overhead sculpturesque canopy. A prefabricated gazebo has been designed to frame and sustain a dedicated dining area. This pavilion is one of the first specimens to be exhibited at Design Miami 2015, an initiative conceived and sponsored by Robbie Antonio. As a collective, Design Miami unites more than 30-star architects, artists, and designers around the world to create prefabricated and cost-effective living spaces. The highlights of this contemporary pavilion include its shell-like form and the state of the art computational skeleton. Though Volu seems to be monolithic, it is actually an assembly of irregular laser-cut polygons fixed within perforated steel elements. “Defined by digital processes, the pavilion has been developed in such a way that its components are, at most, singly curved. Comprised of a series of structural bands collecting at the spine and expanding overhead, the patterning of the pavilion is guided by the varied structural loading conditions,” says the design team.
The entire structure is supported by a 3.2 m tall steel stem at the back, which then extends and flattens upwards to form the cantilevered elliptical canopy. This cover gradually bends towards the periphery. The skeletal steel members continue over the top and disperse downwards to form the deck. While the gaps in the overhead frame are retained as voids, the framework in the deck supports individual wooden planks, while spreading outwards to hold the 20 m wide pavilion. The firm explains the structural trait of the design by saying “Through the analysis of the geometry under load, the pavilion’s structure and skin have been digitally optimized to remove unnecessary material, resulting in the lightest possible design solution — following an organic structural logic that recreates many of the same principles found in nature.” The shell is just one part of the design houses the exclusive limited-edition dining table designed by the same firm. The circular dining table as if carved out of a singular log of wood, evinces the same monolithic yet lightweight character, as that of the pavilion. The dining table has a flat circular disk supported on a stump. Around this, are three more curved benches. Altogether the elements craft an exquisite space for dining, no less intelligently contrived than the most complex parametric precedents by the London-based firm.
Name: Volu Dining Pavilion
Designer: Zaha Hadid + PatrikSchumacher
Type: Dining Pavilion
Dimensions: 6m x 4.6m x 3.2m
Floor Area: 20 sqm