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The pavilion became a celebration of the structural potential and visual properties of American tulipwood, a material that, at the time, had only recently become available for external use.

Sclera’s design explores the use of light to create a modular and space from light and shadow. A cylindrical shape showed an absence of angles while the strips of timber contrasted with regimented reflections of light inside the structure.

Through treating the tulipwood, Adjaye was able to both showcase the natural characteristics of the material and protect it from the elements.

Sir David Adjaye commented, “I wanted to think about the role of sacred spaces, respite spaces, quiet monuments that are in our city that played a certain role in our cities and maybe have now become more formal as religious spaces but to really find a way in which we could make a space that didn’t have the connotations of religion or formal monuments but one that could just allow citizens retreat from the bustle of our everyday lives. Timber, such as tulipwood, brings a sense of calm and being amongst nature when surrounded by it.”

Read about the making of the structure >