DREAM Architects unveil Pavilion Let’s Play! | Structure for carbon capture

Pavilion Let’s Play! is presented for the first time in the Villa Medici’s Gardens in Rome. Photo by DREAM Architects

DREAM Architects have designed a spiral-shaped wooden pavilion that invites visitors on a sensory and playful adventure. 

The French architecture practice were invited by the Villa Medici in Rome to present their design for the first edition of the Festival des Cabanes (Festival of Huts). Nestled within the maritime pines in the Villa’s gardens, it is conceived as a place for games and sport where visitors can interact and play. 

A team of architects, engineers, and manufacturers came up with the helical structure which pushes the limits of wood and showcases the material’s agility. “The double curve of the upper ribbon is a technical challenge,” DREAM explained. “It undulates both vertically, following the different heights of the poles, and horizontally, following the spiral shape of the structure.” Its spiral shape guides visitors along the open palisade, revealing fragments of the landscape between the gaps in the wooden poles. 

Ecological design

The pavilion is made of 44m3  of French pine which makes it possible to store the equivalent of 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This reduces the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and lowers the structure’s carbon footprint. 

The design team’s focus was on creating a mobile pavilion, one that can be fully dismantled and easily reassembled elsewhere. “Its parametric design allowed for the automatic numbering of the 316 poles for efficient assembly, as well as optimising cutting the CLT floor and the poles, enabling a 20% saving in materials and the reuse of off-cuts from the wooden poles for the pavilion’s furnishings,” the architects at DREAM revealed. 

From above, the pavilion constructed from French pine appears to naturally emerge from the forest. Photo by M3 Studio

A playful and sensory experience

The Pavilion Let’s Play subverts the regulatory format of sports pitches, and instead forms a rounded, sculptural enclosure within which visitors can get creative with their games. Some of the tree trunks are punctuated by football nets or basketball hoops at different heights to encourage this idea of lighthearted play. 

To make the experience all the more enticing, the aroma of wood encompasses anyone who’s inside the structure. This brings the structure and the experience as close to nature as possible, where all your senses are ignited through the texture and scent of the natural material. There’s plenty to wonder at as the structure changes character through different times of the day. “As night falls, the pavilion lights up to become a sculptural lantern, appearing to float through the vast gardens plunged into darkness,” DREAM described.

Visitors can experience the Pavilion Let’s Play! in the Villa Medici’s Gardens until 2nd October 2022 as part of the Festival des Cabanes. After this date, it will then be exhibited in the Grand Parc des Docks de Saint-Ouen from spring 2023, in the lead up to and throughout the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

The environmental properties of the pavilion make it possible to store the equivalent of 40 tonnes of CO2. Photo by Daniele Molajoli

Discover more architecture and urbanism projects by DREAM Architects.

Read all about other imaginative pavilion designs, including the lightweight Yogapoint pavilion in the Czech Republic and the reusable Calton Hill play shelter in Edinburgh.

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