Glowing sustainable structure by AWP + Atelier Oslo encourages social interaction
In 2008, following the selection of Sandnes and Stavanger as ‘Cultural Capitals’ of Europe, a competition was launched to promote the innovative use of sustainable timber in contemporary architecture in the public domain. A French-Norwegian team of AWP + Atelier Oslo was chosen as the winner with its design for The Lantern Pavilion.
The structure was located in central Sandnes, incorporating architectural elements from both sides of the divisive railway tracks that separate the city into two poles. One section of the city is defined by more historic, classical architectural development, with small wooden houses and shops, while the modern extension of the city towards the harbour displays more contemporary architectural design work on a grander scale.
AWP + Ateliers Oslo’s Lantern Pavilion blends these two elements together, with a sculptural wooden frame topped with a modern, patterned-glass roof, to provide the people of Sandnes with ‘a strong, clear but also delicate image of their urban reality’. Four groups of oak columns support the roof with steel reinforcements in the joints, manipulated in the corners to create benches for local residents and visitors.
The glossy pitched roof has been created using individual glass slates which overlap one another in a clear reflection of the classic architecture displayed in the older section of the city. A translucent pattern has been printed on these panels, creating a regimented shadow imprint on the ground as the sun shines through. At night the illuminated Pavilion glows from inside like a lantern.
Whilst the key focus of the competition was to highlight the innovative ways in which sustainable timber can be utilised ‘to make the region an international display window for innovative and environmentally friendly architecture’, the winning project has also been designed to encourage public interaction. The flexible space can be utilised as a social gathering spot, a market venue, a small arena for informal music concerts and so forth. Initially situated in the city of Sandnes, the 140 sq m structure has now been relocated to an exhibition in New York entitled Nordic Models + Common Grounds.