KOMOREBI PAVILION

BUILD Space, South Boston

2016-2017 (completed)

Harvard Graduate School of Design

in collaboration with Tokyo University and Autodesk's BUILD Space

The Komorebi Pavilion represents a collaborative project between the GSD, Tokyo University, and Autodesk’s BUILD Space in South Boston. The project emerged from a two-day November workshop in which structural engineer Jun Sato (Tokyo University) challenged students to design a fully transparent structure using advanced computational analysis to guide form-making. The chosen material is PETG, a non-toxic, pliable plastic whose various structural properties were imported to HOGAN software to predict behavior and deflection. Students were challenged to imagine non-traditional forms and irregular patterning that could produce shimmering, dappled light (“komorebi” in Japanese) within the pavilion.


Over J-Term, a team of eight GSD students led by Associate Professor in Practice Mark Mulligan and Teaching Fellow Ignacio Cardona (DDes) moved the site of operation to Autodesk’s BUILD Space, an immense state-of-the-art fabrication facility in South Boston, dedicated to advancing architectural research and knowledge through collaboration across disciplines. The first version of the pavilion was constructed in 10 days, and exhibited for a month.


In May, over three days, the team fabricated the second version by assembling nearly 800 identical “snowflake” shaped PETG modules (3/32″ thick) that could be slotted, notched, and interlocked together directly in multiple ways, allowing construction to proceed without the use of metal clips or other conventional fittings. Varying densities and curvatures of overlapping PETG modules produce an astonishing set of spatial effects. The Komorebi Pavilion will be on display at Harvard University’s Gund Hall through May and early June of 2017.

Design Team:

Mark Mulligan (Associate Professor in Practice, GSD), Jun Sato (Associate Professor, Tokyo University), Ignacio Cardona (Teaching Fellow, GSD)

Paul Mok, Carly Gertler, Chao Gu, Cari Alcombright, Scott Smith, LeeAnn Suen, Yousef Hussein, Danielle Kasner, Gary Lin, Meric Ozgen, Anne Schneider, Valeria Fantozzi, Irene Preciado, James Zhang

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design

image © the Harvard Graduate School of Design