Multimedia Pavilion in Jinhua

This multimedia pavilion is part of the Jinhua Architecture Park, southwest of Shanghai. Artist and architect Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron were the curators in this collaborative project. The park extends the Jindong New District in a northerly direction over the Yiwu river, forming an 80-metre-wide ribbon alongside the river for a distance of roughly two kilometres. Based on the master plan by Ai Weiwei, eleven architects from abroad and six from China were invited to plan individual “follies” in this section of the park, each with different programmes (Detail 5/2007, p. 458ff.) In the first instance the multimedia pavilion is designed to be a space for presenting films, a space for collective, not individual experience of multimedia. The translucent glazed facades at the ends open out to the park, serving both as an entrance area and as a projection surface for films screened in the interior. During a screening, passers-by are treated to an intriguing reverse image of the film on these facades. Outside screening times the openable glass facades enable the interior to blend with the surroundings and visitors to look right inside. On the roof tiered steps, intended as seating for open-air screenings, tempt people to clamber up and explore. The pavilion space is formed by two projection “cones”. Essentially the structure is a linear sequence of twenty frames with cross-sections varying from axis to axis. Each frame is unique, yet all spring from a single set of design parameters. Together they form a stepped landscape in which envelope, frame and programmatic content are resolved in a single structure. The continuous surface of the pavilion is thus transformed into a landscape incorporating different zones. Accommodated within the levels are seating, media surfaces, storage, loudspeakers and lighting, thus obviating the need for furniture. The resulting polyvalent space not only fulfils the multimedia space programme but also provides a place of calm and encounter in the midst of the park, a place where virtual and physical worlds are superimposed.
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