A pavilion designed and fabricated by the Boston Society of Architects’ (BSA) MakeTANK Committee is currently on display at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. Constructed from interlocking plywood staves and custom-cast urethane articulating joints, the pavilion explores the nexus of design, materiality, and fabrication. The temporary installation stands alongside several of the Museum’s permanent pieces, and is also playing a role in deCordova’s annual the hive program, a four-week summer camp experience for children aged five through twelve.
Campers, deCordova staff, and MakeTANKers raise the pavilion.
“We are thrilled to host the MakeTANK Pavilion this summer,” says Julie Bernson, deCordova’s Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement. “The intent of the hive camp experience is to challenge campers with conceptual design prompts that transition into team-building construction projects—and the pavilion is a successful marriage of both. It’s been great incorporating this unique space into our programming for this year, and the kids have loved interacting with it.”
Campers inspect the pavilion [Image courtesy of deCordova].
The pavilion was originally displayed at the 2016 ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX), accompanied by several pieces of bespoke furniture. With support from the BSA, the piece was designed and fabricated by the MakeTANK committee’s large team of volunteers from several Boston-based design firms.
“Building this pavilion was a perfect example of what MakeTANK is all about—informing design through a better understanding of materiality,” says Felipe Francisco, a MakeTANK member and a key player in Sasaki’s FabLab. “We used urethane, a material rarely used in the building industry, as a critical component of the articulation nodes. The flexibility this material provided enabled a quickly deployable, no-tools-required structure that creates a sense of place just about anywhere.”
DeCordova staff and MakeTANKers pose inside the pavilion, celebrating the successful installation.
“When deCordova contacted us about displaying the pavilion, we were ecstatic,” says Brad Prestbo, Co-Chair of MakeTANK and an architect and senior associate at Sasaki. “The primary goal of MakeTANK is to expand the discussion on how making contributes to design, so the chance to expose these young campers to this very involved and very rewarding project was a no-brainer for us.”