Perched proudly at the edge of SCI-Arc’s parking lot in Los Angeles is a permanent graduation space designed by LA-based architecture studio P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. In an effort to avoid the ‘temporary’ feel of a standard pavilion, the structure, known as League of Shadows, has been designed to develop the relationship between the educational institution and the wider community, as Marcelo Spina, Partner at P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S confirms: “We see it as activating an important node within the downtown area.”
Viewable from outside the boundaries of SCI-Arc, League of Shadows is formed of three rectilinear steel volumes, reaching 55ft into the sky. This vertical projection is at odds with the otherwise low-lying institution buildings and helps to draw attention to the school while inviting members of the local pavilion to use the space for creative events.
Key to the design process was an analysis of shadow patterns cast by the towering pavilion structure. P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S have created the form to provide comfort zones in an otherwise unsheltered area so that users can enjoy the space in comfortable conditions in the early and late afternoon. The resulting shelter can accommodate 1,000 seated spectators facing.
Director of SCI-Arc Eric Owen Moss commented: “In the traditional of non-tradition at SCI-Arc we look at the graduation as an initiative to speculate on where we’re going, in a literal, physiological way, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’ pavilion embodies this prospect.”
The three rectilinear volumes sport carved concave surfaces facing towards the seated audience, projecting the acoustics in the desired direction. League of Shadows touches the ground at four points while leaning into the centre, its woven fabric covering providing a suitable screen for projections and lighting displays. Spina continues: “The intent of the project is to assert a certain ambiguity in its formal reading. It has a simple outline from far away but a more complex, radiating surface texture at close range.”