Sky Pavilion

Sky Pavilion

/ What colour is the sky?

At the beginning of the last century Claude Monet painted a series of pictures of a London scene that dramatically captured the way that the colours of the sky change according to the time of day and weather pattern. Our Sky Pavilion uses a selection of these hues to describe the myriad colours the sky can be.

Houses Of Parliament - Monet
Sky Pavilion Site Plan

/ Form


The geometry of the 60sqm plan is based on the relationship of the pavilion site to the surrounding trees. The pavilion takes the form of two hyperbolic paraboloids, adapted to the site and woven through each other. Like the sky, the pavilion is not enshrouded by a surface, its enclosure is an ambiguous volume– real yet immaterial and touching the ground lightly.

Sky Pavilion Elevations

/ Views, scale and routes

Visitors are able to delight in the continually changing face of the Sky Pavilion according to their vantage point, an experience that mirrors the unpredictability of the British weather.
They can also reflect on the sense of being within the sky by entering the spaces beneath the structure at one of the three places where it rises to 4m to form entry points. A natural route is fabricated by the crossing cords where the pavilion’s underside is at its highest. Pausing places – with gabion seats –are located where the pavilion lowers before it reaches the ground.
Sky Pavilion Site Diagram

/ Weaving

Echoing the local history of Bethnal Green,once a home for the silk weaving trade, the selected colours are woven through each other using waxed and dyed cord in a aluminium frame which, like a loom, generates the Sky Pavilion.For those visiting the next door Museum of Childhood, it may also be reminiscent of a game of cat’s cradle.

Sky Pavilion

/ Construction

The sky pavilion is visually sophisticated and complex, but structurally straightforward, lightweight, and built using minimal and affordable materials. The main support frame consists of a primary arch rigidly connected to a triangulated support beneath the surface which anchors the pavilion to the ground and provides a level accessible area beneath the pavilion. A secondary, inverted arch is inturn connected to the primary one with two tierods. The visible construction comprises six aluminium tubes, six steel connections as well as the 7.5km of waxed cord. The simplicity  ofthe structure is complemented by the craft ofthe weaving of the cord within the frame.
It is intended that the aluminium frame is prefabricated and then installed on site. The frame could be pre-threaded, in which case installation is likely to take one day. An alternative approach would be to install the frame, temporarily propped, and weave the cords on site over a couple of days as a community event.


Sky Pavilion Structural Form
Sky Pavilion