MODU's competition-winning Outdoor Room creates a visual experience while raising awareness on Beijing's persistent air-quality issues.
Recently installed in Beijing's Olympic Park for the 5th China International Architecture Biennial, the 5,000 sq.ft pavilion functions as urban public space and a barometer for Beijing's air quality levels — which are documented as much as the daily weather report.
Outdoor Room is currently at Beijing's Olympic Park through November 2013 before installation in six different cities.
Although MODU was recently re-established, its principals Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem have won previous competitions like the 2010 Art Basel Miami Beach competition.
Here are some photos MODU sent us.
"Along with the weather report, daily readings of air particulate contaminant have become part of everyday urban life in Beijing. On most days, pollution creates a dense fog that transforms the city with an unsettling palette of colors—from dull grey to off-white and yellow-beige. On the occasional day of better air quality, urban forms suddenly materialize “out of the fog.” The concept of a city that disappears and reappears is central to the public experience of Outdoor Room."
"Inside the pavilion, a large elliptical roof opening provides a visual measure of the air quality. On days of good visibility, the roof void frames clear views of the Olympic Observation Tower and beyond to the National Stadium. On days of poor air quality, the landmarks virtually disappear from sight."
"The design of Outdoor Room precipitated the concept of the 'room in the city' and its converse, the 'city in the room.' Viewed from the Olympic Park, the “room in the city” does not attempt to recreate the urban boundaries that separate polluted outdoor air from conditioned and filtered indoor air throughout Beijing."
"From within the public space, the openings between the fabric panels frame a 'city in the room.' This 'city in the room' offers changing views of the Olympic Park and the air that surrounds it."
"The glossy translucent fabric panels both reflect and transmit the color hue of the polluted air enveloping the city—from blue to grey to yellow."
"The torque geometry of the fabric panels reflects the colors differently, especially when viewed from different vantage points within Outdoor Room. All of the fabric panels were recycled from nearby exposition tent structures in the Olympic Park, highlighting existing environmental opportunities even in Beijing."
All images courtesy of MODU.
Browse the thumbnails below to see diagrams and drawings.