WinterLight Pavilion is a conceptual urban winter “warming hut” or “glowing igloo” designed to be a temporary wintertime installation in Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. The installation serves as an inviting, responsive, and dynamic public art piece that could function as an intimate meeting place, a social gathering space, or a venue for public events and performances.
Constructed of hexagonal concrete modules, the porous structure shields from prevailing winds, becoming increasingly open as it faces toward the sun. During the day, this airy structure is designed to take full advantage of the limited winter daylight, serving as both a solar energy collector and dynamic shadow caster. At night the structure literally glows in the dark—as modules embedded with glow-in-the-dark aggregate emit light they harvest from the sun over the course of the day. The structure will surround a ﬁre pit that will serve to activate the space at all hours of the day.
During the process the team worked from a 3D model of downtown Boston to test micro-climate performance and the ﬂuid dynamics of the structure. By reducing the velocity of winter winds and capturing the limited daylight hours, the pavilion is carefully calibrated to increase the perceived temperature within the enclosure. The design encapsulates Sasaki’s ongoing “Think-Make” approach, incorporating research in algorithmic modelling, digital fabrication, site responsive design, sustainable building systems, and material studies.
Modelling wind streams around the pavilion. Graphic courtesy of Klimaat Consulting & Innovation Inc.
A fire pit warms the structure's interior.
Special thanks to collaborators Studio NYL and Klimaat.