ArchTriumph Pavilion 2015 Competition: Sky Pavilion (GB)

skeye at bethnal green

ArchTriumph´s brief was to design a temporary, freestanding, transportable and contemporary showcase Pavilion to be installed in the Museum Gardens at Bethnal Green in London around the year’s Triumph Pavilion theme of “Sky”.

Skeye is a public art installation in the shape of an accessible pavilion that attempts to approximates the sky by dematerializing it. Therefore, the pavilion symbolizes an abstract approach towards the materiality of the sky. Recycled semi-transparent white acrylic strings create the experience of intangible elements: Air, clouds, and wind. The elliptical shape and the orientation of the pavilion make a reference to the dimensions of the park while simultaneously representing a simple round shape, which harmonises with the regular trajectory of the sun. The matrix arrangement of the strings creates a blurred silhouette, which is emphasised by a changing density of the strings and by the elliptical shape of the pavilion. The wind and the visitors inside the pavilion that set the strings in motion further intensify this blur. The pavilion is also a subtle reference to the rainclouds that are characteristic for London.


Visitors can access the pavilion through more and less dense areas. They can also use the barrier-free entrance that tunnels into the centre of the cloudy mist. In so doing, visitors are increasingly lulled into the abstract cloud. Their path leads them through bright and semi-transparent strings that reflect the incoming light and are in constant movement, thereby intensifying a sensation of dematerialization and blur. Here and there, a blurred impression of the outside park flashes into the outward view. The immersion into the all-encompassing white strings creates a spherical place, decelerating visitors by fascinating reflections and by enforcing slow movements. In the centre of the pavilion, the visitors find the main component of the installation:  A central circular opening provides a clear view of the sky and lets the sunlight into the pavilion. Together with the dematerialized hull, the strong alignment and focus of the room on this circular opening create a transcending space. In this charged environment, visitors can experience and view the sky from a room with sky-like qualities, thereby creating a unity between the visitor and the sky. The viewer can lay down underneath the opening and can see the sky while relaxing. In this way, the viewer simultaneously observes the sky while being a part of it. The top view onto the pavilion in the shape of an eye underscores the pavilion’s function as a sky observatory.


To prevent diminishing the floating appearance of the pavilion, the construction only consists of six steel pillars supporting the polished aluminium roof. The pillars are six centimetres in diameter. The semi-transparent acrylic strings are directly attached to the roof.  For protection against rain, Plexiglas covers the circular opening in the centre of the roof. The floor is made of polished reflecting steel plates. All materials can be recycled after the pavilion’s dismantling.