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Hypar hypar

Exteriors | September 1, 2010 | By:

London structural engineers Price & Myers have designed and constructed an efficient, transportable pavilion for the 2010 London Festival of Architecture, the two week city-wide celebration of all things architectural in the English capital.

Price & Myers’ “Hy Pavilion”—first installed 18 June in Park Crescent near Regent’s Park, and then four days later in a pocket park near Store Street Crescent, central London—is simpler than it looks to construct. The structure is made of lengths of black cord strung between timber edge beams that define the shape of two intersecting hyperbolic paraboloids (hypars) at right angles to each other. Although the forms created appear curvilinear, they’re actually made of straight lines that connect the edges of the scissor-like beams. Tim Lucas, partner at Price & Myers, came up with the idea for the Hy Pavilion: “I wanted to create a pavilion for the festival that was made out of a very basic element—a straight line—put together in an interesting way; elegant and exciting but simple to build.”

Suspended beneath the complex shape of the intersecting cords is a canvas canopy that provides shelter for numerous events within the pavilion during the Festival’s run from 19 June–4 July, 2010.

The x-beams are connected at the tips in pairs to form a mechanism that lifts up the structure when the base corners are pulled together, allowing it to be put up without the need of cranes or scaffolding. The beams taper down in size towards their tips as the bending moments they carry diminish. The Hy Pavilion will have an afterlife in use at other festivals and industry exhibitions. The Pavilion team included Commercial Systems Intl., Finnforest, m-tec, Millimetre and Moxon Architects.

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