The illusion of motion

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Dutch firm FABRIC wins temporary pavilion competition in the King’s Garden

FABRIC has won the international design competition for a temporary pavilion in the King's Garden in Copenhagen. The design is named ‘Trylletromler’, the Danish name for the 19th century invention of the ‘Zoetrope’. The following is an explanation by the practice of their winning concept:

"The Renaissance garden design of Rosenborg Castle is the oldest known example of garden design in Denmark. The design draws heavily on principles of Euclidean geometry. This language of absolute space was long regarded as the construction principle of the world.

"Architecture, urbanism and landscape design essentially were aiming to create order out of chaos using absolute shapes: line, square, triangle, sphere and cone. The Baroque alterations of the original design introduced maze like elements in the grid, diagonal paths and the elaboration of the two tree-lined avenues: Kavalergangen and Damegangen. After these alterations the garden was never drastically changed. This classical representation of space was meticulously maintained until today.

"The strategy of ‘blurring’ addresses three independent paradoxes by provoking the notions inside and outside, by introducing a maze that is paradoxically transparent and by creating an illusion of motion. First of all, the fence as a freestanding structure is designed to restrict movement across a boundary. By folding and wrinkling the fence on the location, it produces new meanings of being spatially included or excluded.

"By secondly forcing openings in the fence, the boundary that is described by it will become penetrable. In this curving fence a series of openings are cut using absolute shapes like circle, rectangle, triangle and parabola, creating a series of straight and stippling paths through the pavilion. Most openings appear as a partly raising of a curtain. One cut in the fence however seems without reason. This small irregular cut near Rosenburg Caste only allows kids into the pavilion, escaping their parents gaze, exploring a new view on the world. By avoiding placing the openings on obvious routes of straight lines of sight, visitors are forced to find their way out of the sequence of spaces created by the fence, which acts like a see through maze.

"Thirdly, the fence gives new meaning by its potential to create the illusion of motion via the so-called moiré patterns while moving along the fence. The fence is made out of three thousand standard pieces of Nordic timber that are joined using an irregular pattern of wedges. The repetitive openings between the bars of the fence and their connections create a continuous moving image. When one thinks of a fence made out of sticks with narrow vertical slits arranged on a circular layout the image of a Zoetrope - or ‘wheel of life’ - jumps to mind. This 19th century device triggers an impression of movement within a still image, making it look alive hence introducing a new understanding of space."

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Urban design

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