Architectural practices are continuously shifting to adapt new technologies and innovations. Nick Gelpi’s UNFLAT Pavilion situated on the MIT Campus in Cambridge Massachusetts however, demonstrates an architectural role reversal that is soft, cheap, and low tech in its structure.
Created by flexing two dimensions into three, the bent plywood composition utilizes the physical range of behaviors of natural materials in order to generate architecture forms. The pavillion deploys a fabrication system used to create a membrane, which is simultaneously structural, functional and representational in a single act. Entirely constructed of laminated plywood, an open pattern is cut into flat plywood stock which transforms into three-dimensional architectural features as flat sheets are bent and unfurl into skylights, columns, buttresses, windows and vents, in the act of becoming UNFLAT.
Nick Gelpi’s UNFLAT Pavillion isn’t hard, heavy, bulletproof, or monumental. It is modest, soft, cheap, low-tech, and full of holes, and aesthetically beautiful.