Featured Civic Contribution Project

ContemPLAY Pavillion

To fabricate the space frame, the choice of galvanized steel tube was made for aesthetic and technical reasons. The galvanization result not only created a soft gray color, it also proved to be the most durable and cost effective process for the project. The color of the wood will turn from natural to a soft gray with time, as the pavilion is exposed to the elements. With age, the galvanized steel and wood will form a common visual structure that espouses the architectural intentions behind the ContemPLAY design.

The ContemPLAY pavilion is meant as a multi-generational artefact that gathers the ideas of contemplation and playing in a single clear gesture. As a socially sustainable public infrastructure that plays with the visual field through form and cladding, it questions the current trend in public space furniture and encroaches in the realm of the abstract sculpture or artifact.

The gesture itself is a three-dimensional mobius strip which is supported by a triangular truss. The truss is a combination of laminated plywood and galvanized steel elements. The cladding is a visual pattern generated to create a simultaneous moiré and parallax effect. As the public approaches and engages with the pavilion, the visual field is modified and interrupted by the interference created by motion and the two layers of cladding. The eye continuously covers the never ending surface of the mobius inviting dynamic motion from the user. Within, a bench anchors the project to the ground, allowing for a center seat in a never ending structure. The light filters through the cladding generating an ambiguous relationship between the notions of inside and outside as well as furniture and shelter.

As you move around the pavilion, new interference patterns are continuously created and destroyed though this mechanism of moiré; thus the pavilion creates a responsive, interactive experience. The simplicity of a half-twist in a ribbon was rendered extremely complex through the doubling and offsetting of the Mobius strip: the creation of two surfaces activated the moiré but required strong yet minimal structural solution. Our solution to this complexity was a space frame. To resolve all these design criteria, the moiré pattern and an optimized space frame are generated via customised digital parametric modeling.

Project Specifics

Year Galvanized
Building & Architecture
Civic Contribution
Montreal, QC Canada
Reason for Galvanizing
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Life-Cycle Cost
Components Galvanized
triangular truss is a combination of laminated plywood and galvanized steel
Steel: 10
HDG: 10

Project Members

Les Aciers Canam
Altitubes Steel
Protoplus Précision
McGill Architecture School - Hamza Alhbian, Simon Bastien, Justin Boulanger, Evguenia Chevtchenko, Elisa Costa, Jason Crow, Nicolas Demers-Stoddart, Andrew Hruby, Olga K
Member Galvanizer(s)
Corbec Inc. (Corporate Office)