Youturn Pavilion by UNStudio

Youturn Pavilion by UNStudio

Project Description of Youturn Pavilion – 29th Art Biennale Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010 by UNStudio:
UNStudio’s Youturn Pavilion is one of six ‘terrieros’ created for the 29th Art Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Located at the heart of the biennale, the pavilion operates primarily as a venue; a nodal point within the biennale’s context which provides a forum for communication by diverse means and on different scales. Programmatically the pavilion invites the public to meet, orientate and observe. It provokes interaction between both participants and visitors to the biennale, creating a place for display, discussion, and debate.  The UNStudio Pavilion places itself between artwork, installation and architecture; operating as both a form and a functional structure performing as an activator of events.

Ben van Berkel: “It is a wonderful quality in architecture today; that it can perform on so many levels and that there is cultural acceptance again for this richness of meanings and readings. Architecture can have its cultural expression in a similar way to how art is perceived or interpreted. The metaphorical interpretation of spaces can be similar to the reading of piece of art, so the mechanics and the approach can be similar, but the outcomes are of course different.”

The UNStudio pavilion forms the ‘I am the street’ terriero, one of six conceptual groupings of integrated curatorial spaces at the biennale. The design of the pavilion plays with the crossing points between movement and display. As a venue, the biennale is a place of circulatory routes, where visitors find themselves traveling through spaces of expression, interpretation, and contemplation. These dynamic movements are formalised and transcribed into a design model, which in turn creates a dynamic space through the convergence of path and destination.

The Youturn Pavilion furthermore performs as a space for solitude as well as a space of interaction. The installation contrasts these dynamisms, with the ridged and straightforward shape of the exterior triangle to the simple complexity of the circle within the interior. This simple convergence creates a complexity that reflects the blending of the biennale’s display of artist’s work with their means of expression. The centripetal movement and form of the structure wraps and encircles the users from the surrounding biennale, while simultaneously creating a central void; the focal point where all lines, surfaces and viewpoints converge.

Events which occur within the space can range from intimate discussions to large group presentations. The Youturn pavilion is adaptable and can be used for multiple scales of interaction, presenting a dynamic response to the needs of the biennale, the artists and the multitude of visitors who circulate on a daily basis.

Ben van Berkel: “We wanted to create an environment in which more can take place than simply experiencing the object itself. The object can then also become a dialogue machine.”

The objective of the Youturn Pavilion is direct; through the continuous flows of the biennale, it creates opportunities of interface for moments both staged and un-staged, ranging from discussions, debates and artists presentations, to a place for escape and contemplation. The pavilion is a centre point in the biennale, where one can be at the heart of creative expression and simultaneously take a moment to reflect, debate, or display.

Youturn Pavilion – 29th Art Biennale Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010

Client: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Site: Pq. Ibirapuera РPorṭo 3 РPavilḥo da Bienal, 04094-000 РṢo Paulo РSP РBRASIL
Programme: Pavilion/Installation


UNStudio, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos with Christian Veddeler, Jordan Trachtenberg and Florian Licht
Building and Engineering:
p+p, Fuerth, Odenwald, Germany

Subsidy and sponsors:
The Netherlands Architecture Fund, Rotterdam
The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Amsterdam  
Zumtobel Licht GmbH, Lemgo, Germany MXWendler, Device and Context, Weimar, Germany
p+p, Fuerth, Odenwald, Germany

Photography: Ding Musa

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