SABS Pavilion
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About This Project

SABS Pavilion

Executed while at the firm HolmJordaan

The new Visitors’ Pavilion is a simple platform with several smaller pavilions that define the architectural space in between.   Visitors would enter by going up a ramp, and due to the slightly sloped site, would leave down another ramp in the direction of the entrance to the Campus, in this way articulating the entrance.  A secondary structural system holds the floating roof plane.  Given the modernist architectural heritage of the SABS Campus, the pavilion draws from the work of renowned modernist architect Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe.  Similar to his famous Barcelona Pavilion, the space in-between becomes continuous space; blurring inside and outside so that the building does not have a front and a back.   The design was premised on an absolute distinction between structure and enclosure—a regular grid of steel columns interspersed by freely spaced planes.  The entire building rests on a plinth, while the floor slabs of the plinth projects out, articulating the threshold.  Edges of the smaller pavilions give way to round corners, further creating a distinction between rational structure and plastic form.  The latter juxtaposition draws on traditional South African forms of architecture.  Natural light is applied as an architectural material and was considered from the outset – indirect light washes walls and creates texture, while articulating form