Pavilion to pop-up on The Mound

Edinburgh based architect, Konishi Gaffney Architects, is the winner of a competition to design a temporary pavilion as Edinburgh’s entry to the Pop-Up Cities Expo.

Winning design
Winning design

This is a headline event for the Festival of Architecture and part of the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design, being held at The Mound in June and July this year. 

The competition was organised by the City of Edinburgh Council in conjunction with the Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA). The winning pavilion is engineered by TALL engineers; it is being fabricated locally by artist and maker Johannes Sailer and is supported by several Scottish timber companies. 

The architects’ brief was for a pavilion intended to be an aspirational ‘snapshot’ of Edinburgh, inspiring future generations of architects to come. 

Entrants were asked to prepare proposals that would represent Edinburgh on a world stage, showcase the city including its World Heritage status, and reflect the location of the pavilion at the Mound. 

Cllr Ian Perry, Convener of the Planning Committee, said: “Edinburgh is well known internationally for its iconic skyline and architecture. We are immensely proud of our World Heritage Status and this competition is a great example of how we can continue to raise our game and inspire local architects of the future. I would like to congratulate Konishi Gaffney on their well deserved win as they are a shining example of the quality of architects we have in the city.” 

Kieran Gaffney of Konishi Gaffney Architects, said: “We are delighted to have won this competition and to represent Edinburgh at the Pop-Up Cities Expo. Our idea is based on a folded origami form developed from thinking about the brief for a pop-up pavilion. The form is made from two pyramids laid back to back with three openings pulled out: one for the door, one for a fixed window and one for an opening window for ventilation.  The proposal is innovative in its design and minimised the use of materials.  Using locally sourced timber means a small carbon footprint and the pavilion is intended for re-use at other events and functions. The proposal has an interesting, decorative structure and the simple form is materially and structurally efficient. We think the construction system should be quick and easy to install.” 

Donald Canavan, President of the EAA, said: “The Edinburgh Architectural Association is delighted to be involved in facilitating this exciting competition, and was greatly impressed by the quality of the entries. Although such pavilions are temporary, the winning entry, by Konishi Gaffney, was agreed as a gem, offering a splendid tribute to Edinburgh, and to the architectural profession within the chapter area. We greatly look forward to the Expo and are sure the story told by the Edinburgh pavilion and its exhibits will be intriguing and memorable.” 

Further information

Pop-up Cities Expo 17 June – 17 July, Mound Square, Edinburgh (FREE)

As one of the headline events of The Festival of Architecture, a year-long celebration of Scotland's fantastic built environment and part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design; cities from throughout Europe have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square, the very centre of Edinburgh, in summer 2016.  The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.

A list of the cities taking part will be announced later in May.

A number of talks will also take place as part of Pop-up Cities Expo and a Cities Symposium on 11 July at The Assembly Rooms in George Street.

Konishi Gaffney Architects

Konishi Gaffney is an award winning architecture and design practice set up in 2009 by Scottish architect Kieran Gaffney and Japanese designer Makiko Konishi. They work collaboratively on a range of projects including houses, commercial buildings, art installations, furniture & exhibitions.

They approach includes an aesthetic, Japanese sensitivity while we strive to create buildings that are low energy and eco-friendly: a new community kindergarten in Portobello achieved a score of 96% and BREEAM A* rating (the highest). As well as striving for beautiful solutions they are also experienced with sensitive historic buildings: almost 40% of their current workload is with listed buildings including grade-A listed houses.

TALL Engineers

TALL was established in London in 2005 and opened an Edinburgh office in 2015. It has come to be widely recognised as an innovative practice providing elegant design solutions and is regularly recognised in architectural and engineering awards.  TALL pride themselves on providing practical yet sophisticated solutions to diverse projects in construction, architecture and art, particularly on technically challenging, prominent or socially valuable projects.

They view close collaboration between the design disciplines as essential to the process and are enthusiastic supporters of cross-fertilisation between design fields. 

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