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    Photography by NAARO.

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Pillars of Dreams: a world of light and colour

Jessica Evans
31 May 2019

Commissioned by Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, the balloon-like structure offers a replace to retreat when it’s bright or dreary.

A daydream dressed in ultra-thin aluminum, this permanent pavilion’s cluster of spheres will strike you first. The spheres can be seen from a distance, but people won’t quite make out what they are or how they came to be, and when the view clears, what look like cartoonish clouds drifting down from the sky reveal themselves to be planted firmly on the ground.

The plaza of the newly renovated Valerie C. Woodard Center - a county building, housing numerous departments and local services - is vitalized by Pillar of Dreams, making a curious impression from the street.

Along the path leading to the building’s entrance, the cloud-like structure allows for quiet moments and curious interactions. Nine pillars support the pillowy canopy, merging softly in the space between concrete and cosmos, whilst open columns drop down from the floating canopy to create a field of seating. There are open paths and unbound spaces for wandering and self-assembly. Pillars of Dreams is not only an idiosyncratic space for “individual discovery”, but a public agora for visitors and employees, encouraging the important community interactions between the residents and local government.

Designed by MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY, the structure was meant to be moved through rather than be an appraised object. The pillars are open towards the interior revealing an atmosphere that encourages people to stay a little longer. Relief from the sun is offered by the airy structure but the porous surface allows for peaceful light to shine through. The dappled light and colour within the structure emites a ‘renewed spirit’ around the place and inspires curiosity and companionship - and even a little bit of hide and seek locations.

The interior’s saturated colour is shrouded by the white exterior with openings in the veil, allowing stripes in bright hues to peek out. From the distance, Pillar of Dreams presents a soft tone with the pulsing glow of the gradient within. “It catches the eye from the street, but must be approached to be understood.” The colour intensifies as you move closer to the pavilion and welcomingly embraces the viewer upon entry.

MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY art and architecture studio specialises in unique spatial experiences and lightweight aluminum structures. Their design research advances computational protocols and implements complex techniques in architecture and beyond. To find out more, click here.

 

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