Federico Fiorino’s Ethereal Design Wins Competition for the Floating Pavilion on the Drava River in Maribor, Slovenia
The Outsider magazine and the City Municipality of Maribor have announced the winners of the international competition “Floating Pavilion on the Drava River.” The purpose of the competition was to obtain an innovative design for a floating pavilion that would have two main functions: a space for smaller events during the Lent Festival and a space for contemplation by the river. The City Municipality of Maribor will invite the winning candidate to participate in the implementation of the project.
After receiving 150 designs by the submission deadline of 31 May 2022, the jury consisting of the architects Gregor Reichenberg (Deputy Mayor of Architecture and Spatial Planning, City Municipality of Maribor), Aljoša Dekleva (Dekleva Gregorič arhitekti), Jure Grohar (Vidic Grohar arhitekti) ), Nika van Berkel (De Zwarte Hond), Eva Gusel (Outsider) and Matevž Granda (Outsider), awarded three prizes and three recognition awards.
wittily to the Responding competition brief, Federico Fiorino‘s proposal was unanimously proclaimed the winner by the jury. The pavilion consists of a floating wooden platform and a floating canvas stretched by a helium balloon. This unusual roof solution is both subtle and impactful, acting as a placemaking object for the city. A poetic tension between the two materials, the helium balloon and the canvas, can be felt in the structural design of the roof. The jury appreciated that the project was comprehensive and well thought out in many respects. The platform creates its topography by altering the heights of smaller platforms. The plan was also chosen to reach maximum stability with the simplest construction methods. The inflatable helium balloon raises the size of the pavilion above the imposed 4m limit, yet it does not limit its mobility. The proposal thus circumvents the rules without actually violating them.
Competition: Floating pavilion on the Drava River
Read on to discover the runner-up proposals, with text from the jury’s assesments:
Second Place – Walter Alejandro Casola, Falvino Martín Ferreyra, Marcos Esequiel Toranzos Astorga
The second-place winner envisages two ways of using their pavilion. Toward the city, the design acts as a covered stage facing the embarkment. The covering of the stage turns into a staircase facing the river. The facility also allows for reverse use: a covered space facing the river and a grandstand facing the embankment, which can thus become a stage or a venue. The pavilion is structurally simple, yet it has a clear and recognizable architectural expression. One of the disadvantages of the solution is that the height of the pavilion limits its mobility along the Drava River, as footbridges only allow for a height of 4 meters to be transported in the shadows.
Third Place – Roberto Zanini, Lara Brmbolić
The proposal represents a discreet wooden pavilion intended for a variety of uses. The most common typology among the submissions was a simple pavilion with a semi-transparent roof on pillars. The jury consider this proposal the most successful among them. The jury assessed the lightness and simplicity of the building as its biggest advantages. But it is precisely from this approach that the jury’s concerns arose, as due to its simplicity the pavilion does not act as a marker in space.
Recognition Award – Luftschloss Collective: Bojana Papić, Yann Junod
The pavilion has a circular floor plan. The space is defined by walls that create differently oriented semi-open spaces. The roof is made of inflatable canvas and is used during the events, which gives the pavilion a changeable character, either an open platform with walls or a covered object. It acts as an object of light and an attractive marker of space at once. The circular shape of the platform together with the walls suggests opening in different directions, but the fixed walls are problematic because they close the views of what is happening in the building from the embankment and at the same time restrict the views of the river too much .
Recognition Award – Soare: Dana Roxana Hosu, Victor Dussap
The project offers a poetic reflection on the history of timber rafting. The pavilion consists of three architectural elements: the base, colonnade, and roof. The pillars are made of raw logs and thus relate to the timber rafting tradition along the Drava River, while on the other hand, they rely on a reflection on the origin of the architecture and Laugier’s Primitive Hut. Raw tree logs visually mark the functional boundaries of the pavilion, which thus does not need a fence. Concerns arise about the materiality of the pavilion: can this approach of raw simplicity produce added value or a spatial upgrade for the city? Traveling, the project is distinguished by its inspiring reflection and reinterpretation of nature.
Recognition Award – 211S: Sasiwimon Paosanmuang
The pavilion consists of a grid of smaller, collapsible platforms. The system allows arbitrary joining and loading of platforms, thus creating a complex matrix with many possible permutations. In this fashion, the pavilion creates a variety of topographies according to the needs of the program: a flat surface for dance performances, a stairway for, and so on. All construction elements are wooden, and the roof is made of light canvas. The construction of the roof consists of thin wooden pillars at regular intervals, which is not an ideal solution in terms of staging performances and events, as it interferes with the performative space of the pavilion. However, due to a thoughtful upgrade of the basic function with platforms that can detach and become a mobile vessel, a recognition award was given to the project by the jury.