The pavilion is located in the garden of the Iona Foundation in the heart of Amsterdam’s historical center. Set against a century-old tree, the structure offers a variety of uses throughout the seasons. The transparency and materiality allow a dialogue between the interior and the exterior, offering a space connected to the trees in the heart of the courtyard. The darkened wood recalls the materiality of the brick facade of the main house with the wooden columns inspired by the morphology of the branches, rising in the historical canal gardens. Harvested from the urban mines, this structure is composed of an assembly of reused materials sourced locally and assembled on site in an efficient prefabrication mode. The collective dimension lies in the self-construction process led by studio ACTE and the permanent dialogue with the Foundation.
The potentials of urban-mining
Identifying and selecting the reusable elements is essential in determining the size, materiality and implementation conditions of the project. During the design stage, the structure is first thought of as an assembly where details and fillings remain flexible and replaceable in order to adapt to the availability of resources. At the same time, the search for locally sourced reusable materials at affordable cost defines the project. A dry assembly method, based on the principle of bolting, screwing and embedding, offers a controlled life cycle of the elements. These materials, all of which are the result of deconstruction, tell the story of the urban harvesting of non-valued materials, revealing their potential within this construction.
This vernacular structure includes temporary dry foundations and a beam-floor framework resting on reused natural stones and cement blocks. The floor is designed as a continuity between inside and outside, the terrace opens onto the garden and shelters the uses. At the heart of the pavilion, a semi-polished raw earth floor (reused from the Circular Pavilion) hosts a work space for the users of the Iona Foundation. The entire wooden structure and floor collected in Rotterdam’s harbour, are made from old mooring piles (basralocus), markers of the colonial past and of the exploitation of the forests of Suriname and Guyana. The acrylate panels come from deconstructed chicken farms, while the wooden formwork panels used to make the floor of a nightclub. The plywood comes from stocks of wood with superficial damage, the old oak wine barrel was found in a Dutch garden depot.