City Form Lab is know for using mathematical formulations to create structures that require minimal materials, but are structurally sound. SUTD’s pavilion uses a catenary curve formula to create a canopy shell that requires no support beams, columns or vertical walls. The shell has no steel structural joints, which reduces materials used.
Each of the panels used to make up the structure was prefabricated from plywood and galvanized steel in Singapore, then shipped to the site for assembly. The SUTD pavilion required 3,000 plywood pieces and 600 sheet metal tiles, that are assembled like scales to create the glittering structure, which SUTD students helped to put together.
SUTD uses the temporary pavilion as an addition to the library, giving students shaded green space, and outdoor work space with desks, Wifi, and mobile bookshelves, and a hub for evening lectures and events.
The easily assembled structure was created to be taken apart in two years. The components, which are each labeled with a numeric code for easy reassembly, could be recycled should the university decide to not rebuild.
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