Los Angeles firm Synthesis Design + Architecture won an international competition to design a temporary pavilion to showcase and charge Volvo’s new plug-in electric hybrid, the V60.
The “Switch to Pure Volvo” competition was organized by international architecture magazine THE PLAN. It called on architects to create an innovative and original design for a temporary pavilion to showcase the car at fairs and open-air presentations throughout Italy.
SDA’s structure uses a continuous organic form made of HDPE mesh fabric with integrated photovoltaic cells over carbon fiber rods. The mesh fabric was digitally designed and allows the rods to bend. The structure can be completely collapsed into a tent bag and carried in the back of a car, making it highly portable and easy to erect and take down. It does not require a large group of people for construction. The design resembles one continuous surface, not a series of components.
SDA emphasized dynamic form, interactivity, visual impact, functionality, and efficiency in its unique design. SDA saw the competition as a way to address sustainability, identity, culture, materiality, permanence, and personal mobility. The architects wanted the temporary structure to carry the same principles of energy efficiency as the V60. It allows for the charging of vehicles, with a charging cable that is concealed in and peels away from the tubing.
The temporary structure is cost-effective due to its use of light-weight high-tech materials and photovoltaic power. SDA’s architects wanted to push the envelope when it came to materials and geometry.
Los Angeles-based engineering firm Buro Happold is performing structural engineering work related to the V60 pavilion project.