Glass Pavillion

We propose to plant a Magnolia tree for Tampere. An intelligent glass dome will provide this tree with a more southern climate, complete with ventilation, shading and lighting. The air exhaust of the parking garage will provide additional heating during the cold, dark months. This dome will have its own microclimate fine-tuned using the technical abilities provided by its glazed surface. The Magnolia will be nurtured to burst into a magnificent bright pink blossom by the first of May annually. Its strong perfumed scent will fill the pavilion, on some spring days the scent might even flow down to the parking garage.

Architecturally the project uses the most obvious, simple qualities that glass has. Transparency is used for giving the Magnolia tree sunlight, reflections dissolve the dome into the surrounding foliage and refractions magnify the bright pink blossoms of the Magnolia onto the full undulating dome. These spherically extruded surfaces create a variety of illusions whilst relating to the traditions of sand, soda and chalk melted down and blown into fantastic shapes.

The glass is melted into shape by gravitation. The flat pane is placed on a simple triangular frame and melted into its distinctive spherical, double curved shape. This process would use a similar process as often used in windscreen manufacturing. Each pane has a maximum dimension of 2,600 mm to fit into an autoclave for laminating. The structural steel frame is a domed form consisting of straight t-shaped profiles which are braced through the tree with steel wires. This bracing allows for a much thinner steel structure overall.

With its natural forms and movement the tree will contrast beautifully with the exact glass structures that envelope it. The Magnolia tree will give a soft image for this square at the centre of industrial Tampere.

NAME: Glass Pavilion

TYPE: Invited competition, 2011, 1st prize

STATUS: In progress

LOCATION: Tampere, Finland

CLIENT: City of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, Finnpark, GPD / Glaston

PROGRAM: Entrance pavillion 100 m2, outdoor areas 350 m2

TEAM: Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki, Janne Teräsvirta and Samuli Woolston with Julius Kekoni, Petra Grisova, Sami Mikonheimo and Pekka Sivula