A 30-m-long and 8-m-high framework pavilion made of beechwood has been centre stage on the Goetheplatz in Frankfurt am Main since the end of 2015. The so-called “pavilion of the future” is operated by the organisers of the “Architektursommer Rhein-Main” together with the urban gardening initiative “Frankfurter Garten”. The temporary structure will provide a space for exhibitions, talks and workshops for one year and is also available to citizens for private functions.
The pavilion comprises a beechwood framework structure and is protected from the elements by façade boards made of Scobalit, a material similar to fibre glass. The translucent building envelope performs two functions simultaneously: it floods the interior with light during the day and, at night, the illuminated rectangle shines out over the entire square. There is a stage on the east side of the pavilion and on the west side a bar for the café and sanitary facilities with environmentally friendly composting toilets. All the fixtures are made from BauBuche beams and boards right down to the floor – this creates a harmonious impression with the timber frame structure which is also made of the same material. “We wanted to show as much wood as possible,” says Ian Shaw in describing the draft process. Only plug and screw connections were to be used to enable the structure to be reassembled at a later date. “This is why we designed pin connections which do not require glue. BauBuche is incredibly stable which means slim sections are possible,” explained the Frankfurt-based designer. This would not have been possible with conventional timber materials.
The plant tubs which hang around the building not only highlight urban gardening, but also serve a structural engineering purpose. Since the pavilion is to be disassembled after one year, it was not allowed to be anchored into the ground. Together with the the structural design planner Achim Vogelsberg from Bollinger + Grohmann, the architect therefore developed an anchorage principle which uses the weight of the plant tubs to prevent the building from lifting up: the tensile forces which, for example, result from wind loads from the façade are guided via the posts of the framed structure in an all-round sole plate to the four corners of the building. Here the tubs filled with gravel and soil act as a stabilising counterweight and ensure that the pavilion remains firmly on the ground.
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