Softlab’s Nova Pavilion

  • November 30th, 2015

An crystalline modular pavilion has popped up in New York’s Flatiron Square, offering pedestrians beautiful kaleidoscopic views of the surrounding cityscape.

Created by SOFTlab in collaboration with ARUP Architects, the ‘nova’ pavilion has been constructed using a modular system of lightweight aluminium to reflect and refract the urban context.

The aluminium shell gains it strength from a cell-like structure, with each unit made of 2D panels that attach together to form a 3D cell. The seven vaulted areas then join together to define a shape that is different from all sides when viewed at street level, but resembles a seven pointed star when viewed from above.

Various viewing cones frame different landmarks including the Flatiron Building, Met Life Tower clock tower and the Empire State Building. LEDs within the installation create a pulsating light that enhances the reflections of the New York icons. And by night the exterior reflects the light of the moving vehicles and the glow from the adjacent buildings.

“Using a mix of optical materials, our design creates a human scale kaleidoscope, remixing the surrounding iconic buildings with colour, light and the reflections of pedestrians,” said Michael Szivos, Founder and Principal at SOFTlab. “Although our design reads as an iconic and festive figure from above, the experience at the pedestrian level is very different.”

The pavilion was created following a competition by the Van Alen Institute. The annual holiday installation is now a tradition in the district that is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. If you happen to find yourself in New York over the Christmas break, pop by and immerse yourself in this piece of modular magic.