The 2012 London Olympic Games not only provides an opportunity for established practices such as Zaha Hadid Architects and Populous but enables flourishing young design studios to showcase their talents on an international stage. Case in point: Pernilla & Asif.
This London-based duo - Pernilla Ohrstedt and Asif Khan - met at the Bartlett School of Architecture and founded their own design practice in October last year. Rising fast through the ranks of cutting edge London studios, Pernilla & Asif have created an interactive crystalline pavilion for the London Olympic Park for sponsors Coca Cola.
More than 200 red and white inflated ETFE cushions are stacked on top of each other into a spiked nest-like form around a central pavilion space. The official Coca Cola music anthem for the Games, ‘Anywhere in the world’, recorded by Mark Ronson and Katy B, is played at the pavilion and proprietary audio, illumination and interactive sensor technology embedded in the ETFE cushions remixes the track with human interaction.
Recordings of Olympic athletes’ heartbeats, squeaking shoes, arrows hitting targets and other sports-associated sounds are generated as visitors take a spiralling external ramp 200m up to the roof of the pavilion to gain panoramic views of the London Olympic Park.
Once at the top, visitors descend into the centre of the volume to view a dramatic light installation by Jason Bruges Studio with 180 mechatronic bubbles set to glow in time with Ronson’s track and inspired by the ‘effervescent energy released when a bottle of Coca Cola is served and shared’.
Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt, said: “The Coca-Cola Beatbox is our largest commission so far and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our distinctive brand of architectural design at London 2012. We have created a structure that fuses architecture, music, sport and technology in a completely unique way.
“The beat will draw people in and allow them to personally experience sports through sound away from the main Games venues. Coca-Cola has really allowed us to push the boundaries and we’re looking forward to unveiling the pavilion to the world when London 2012 opens its doors.”