Multi-Functional Exhibition Space: KREOD Pavilion
Text: Peter Popp , Emilia Margaretha
Inspired by nature, organic in form and environmentally friendly: KREOD pavilion combines three 20 m² capsules in a variety of spatial configurations. The hexagonal structure is based on a simple recurrent joint connection detail.
Architect: Chun Qing Li & Pavilion Architecture
Location: Greenwich Peninsula, GB-London SE10 0PE (until early 2013)
KREOD is a multi-functional pavilion – its three pods can be combined in a variety of configurations or installed as free-standing forms. It is portable and easily demountable. The wooden structure of KREOD is made of Kebony, a certified sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood. The product is dark, acquiring a silver-grey patina over time if left untreated.
Manufacture is based on a procedure in which the wood is impregnated with a liquid produced from crop biowaste. The treatment with furfuryl alcohol forms stable furan polymers, which are locked in the wood cell walls and increase the dimensional stability as well as durability and hardness of the wood. A material with exceptionally good decay resistance and long life span is obtained after kebonization. This durability is achieved without the disadvantages of traditional impregnation methods using toxic chemicals.
In order to perfect the parametric design of the three-metre-high pods, the architect enlisted external help. The geometry consultancy Evolute supported the objective to avoid complicated CNC milling and stick to conventional manufacturing techniques. They developed a simple joint assembly to achieve a torsion-free hexagonal panel layout coordinated with a "circle-packing optimized triangular mesh" that lowered production costs.
The architect then consulted with the structural engineers at Ramboll, who made a breakthrough in the parametric design process with their development of a joint connection detail that is "strong enough to take the loads of the structure [yet] elegant and simple to manufacture at the same time". Evolute then used this connection, which became KREOD’s "signature", to programme the construction with their software EvoluteTools PRO and RhinoScript.
The pavilion can be utilised as an exhibition space, media centre, popup bar, marketing and event space. It will be located next to Peninsula Square in the north of Greenwich until early 2013. After that KREOD will be used in other locations around London.