This is a clever early project from Bernard Tschumi designed as part of the 1990 ‘What a Wonderful World’ exhibition where 5 architects designed pavilions for the display of music videos. (The Rem Koolhaas / OMA pavilion still exists but those by Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelblau and Peter Eisenman are no longer there.)
With this project Tschumi explored two of his favourite ideas – the dematerialising of built form and the creation of new building typologies.
Tschumi’s explanation in the catalogue states:
‘In the city of Groningen a special urban environment is to be created for the pop music video. Is this environment to be a static and enclosed dark box, like the architectural ‘type’ created for the cinema: an extended living room with exterior advertising billboards and neon light? Or rather, should we create a new ‘type’ that brings what was previously a living room, bar and lounge event into the streets?
We propose The Glass Video Gallery; a 3.6 m x 2.6 m x 21.6 m tilted, inclining, transparent glass gallery. The gallery will contain a series of interlocking spaces defined only by a labyrinth of structural glass finsand the points of metal clip connections. Isolated in this labyrinth are six banks of video monitors for displaying the music videos.
Placed within the Hereplein Medallion the gallery will be an extension of the street condition: except a street where borders become indiscernible, monitors provide unstable facades, glass reflections create mirages, and derelict space is exposed. The gallery and Medallion will have the distinct duality of containing both video objects on display and video objects for displaying. It contains objects on display like monitor walls viewed through TV dealership storefronts on the street, and objects displaying events like the plastic sex-clip galleries of urban red-light districts.
In the Hereplein Video Plaza one will watch and be watched simultaneously.’
The Tschumipaviljoen as it is now called, is used as an exhibition gallery for projects that use modern and new media, images, text and audio and the latest in media technology.
The ‘What a Wonderful World’ catalogue provided further information and detail about each pavilion, along with details of all the videos that were displayed.
Architect: Bernard Tschumi Architects
Photographer: Stephen Varady (scans from slides)
Map: Tschumi Pavilion Map
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