Pavilion of Reused Materials, Dreispitz, Basel, CH, 2021; 95 m²; Competition; Architecture: Atelier Amont; Collaborators: Chen He, Bingwen Wu; Team (on "stand-by"): Akane Moriyama (Textile), RSL Rebediani Scaccabarozzi Landscapes (Garden)
A world, consisting of re-used or re-appropriated elements, is assembled to provide diverse, dynamic opportunities of use and experience. Reclaimed bricks, being of substantial weight, are set on the ground with a temporarily binding mortar, creating an artificial landscape – a plinth comprising generous planters, and a continuous surrounding bench. Windows are lifted up onto scaffolding or steel profiles, to act as roofs, defining space and protecting certain areas from rain and providing shade from the sun, aided by thin strips of dyed textile. Everything is painted or rendered in similar tones, unifying the found pieces – such as we appreciate in the sculptures of Louise Nevelson.
Windows are grouped by their respective sizes, therefore the resulting number of modules and proportion of each roof fragment is an outcome (with a certain measure of subtle curating on our part) of that which would be available. Roofs sometimes hover over the platform, and in other places not, reinforcing the notion that no single place is a center, or preferential to another, generating a looseness of choice that we believe is relevant to our contemporary condition. Everyone can find their own unique place to sit, on the benches or many mobile stools, on the level of the lush shrubs and small trees. Nonetheless, certain areas are more “empty” – providing places for small gatherings or informal lectures. A fixed, low desk functions as a lectern, or as a bar when the pavilion would serve as a venue for parties.
Plants are scavenged from nearby vacant fields or temporarily “borrowed” from local nurseries. We believe pavilions, throughout history, have always had the potential to shift the public’s collective conscience, and so we therefore take the initiative to “add” another layer in addition to what has been formally requested – promoting living with, amongst, and between plants, as we know now that this can have seriously positive effects in relation to a number of issues such as climate change and microclimates in our urban environments.
At the end of the pavilion’s life, it could be moved into a park, or once again disassembled into its singular elements. The plants, of course, could be sold, or given away, to promote our vision of a more livable city.