Driftwood by AA Unit 2



This year's Architectural Association Summer Pavilion, designed by students from Unit 2 after a concept by 3rd year student Danecia Sibingo, will open in Bedford Square, London on 3 July.


Called Driftwood, the plywood pavilion is the fourth in the annual AA Summer Pavilion series and will be open to the public until 25 July.


See our story on Swoosh, last year's AA Summer Pavilion.


See our story about the [C]Space Pavilion, built at the AA in early 2008.


See our top ten most popular stories about pavilions.

Here's some info from the AA:


AA School Celebration of Talent - Unveiling of Annual Summer Pavilion

AA School launches latest in extraordinary line up of multi-disciplinary projects

Winning pavilion embraces invention, experimentation and design intelligence.


The Architectural Association School (www.aaschool.ac.uk) will take over Bedford Square, London on 3 July 2009 with its annual celebration of young architectural talent – showcasing the architectural intelligence that defines it as the world’s most renowned and influential school of architecture. Over 3000 visitors from across the world will come to view AA School Summer Pavilion and Projects Review on the evening of the 3rd as part of the schools extensive public programme at Bedford Square.


Home to international architectural alumnae such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Lord Rogers, the AA School has led the way with its radical, innovative and experimental approach since 1847. The summer pavilion competition winner Driftwood is just one example of the vibrant projects on offer this July when the school’s Projects Review transforms Bedford Square into a showcase for the future greats of the art and architecture world.

Driftwood was designed by concept designer Danecia Sibingo a 3rd year student, and a team that includes Lyn Hayek, Yoojin Kim, and Taeyoung Lee. It is neither art nor architecture, science nor ecological adventure, but a sculptural installation and prototype that defies classification. It embraces invention, experimentation, new materials and aesthetic intelligence. The pavilion was selected by a panel of seven eminent judges from the worlds of architecture, engineering, design, media and ecology. It provides a thoughtful, provoking reminder of the UK’s inextricable link to the sea - its undulating form created by the motion of the water, carried by waves and coming to rest in busy central London.

Now in its fourth year of building pavilions, Intermediate Unit 2 pavilion projects are led by tutors Charles Walker and Martin Self with technical advice from ARUP, this year led by Ching Luan Lau, Senior Engineer. The unit challenges students to create architectural space through the construction of a sustainable timber pavilion and is also sponsored by HOK architects who pride themselves on their global reach and ability to respond to the most demanding of design challenges. Driftwood is on show in Bedford Square until 25 July 2009.

Driftwood consists of an internal, sustainable spruce ‘Kerto’ plywood structure supplied by ecological Finnish timber suppliers FinnForest and adheres to a target of minimal material wastage. It was fabricated at Hooke Park, the Architecture Association’s 350-acre campus and workshop in West Dorset where the 2006 winning Fractal pavilion is permanently installed. The winning pavilion for 2007, Bad Hair was donated and re-homed at Kingston Maurward College, Dorset.

Brett Steele, Director, The Architectural Association School says: “The annual summer pavilion competition provides a unique opportunity for students to work together to design, develop and ultimately fabricate a professional standard architectural structure for the public to enjoy. Unparalleled in any other architectural school, it creates a collaborative working environment, nurturing inspiration and encouraging radical and fresh ideas which come to life in the form of these incredible structures.

Posted on Thursday June 25th 2009 at 11:34 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Luxury Larry

    It looks more like a sculpture than a pavilion to me. Nevertheless am excited to see it.

  • Luxury Larry makes an interesting point. At what point does something go from being a “sculpture” to being a “pavillion?” It seems like the term “pavillion” should be used for something that serves more of a purpose than just something one can stand underneath. It doesn’t seem to be wired for lights or any other interactive features. To me it seems no more of a pavillion than one of Alexander Calder’s stabiles.

    That having been said, it is an attractive “object.”

  • tanya telford – T

    i really like this, ive just checked the scale (as shown in the pictures) – are people really going to be able to walk kind of under it & through it etc? if so i think its very graceful, organic and yet playful & even romantic ( there’s a faint sketch of what I seem to think/imagine is a couple walking through together) ………. really nice & i look forward to seeing it,

  • jack

    Anything that requires that much ‘hidden engineering’, (which has nothing to do with the exterior), is a bit ridiculous?

  • fayez jamil

    does any body knows whats the software they are using ?

  • larry seow

    like it! oh, the lamp post… does it like being in there?

  • Luis

    I do agree that it looks more like a sculpture than anything, although that is not the concerning issue. I was at the review of the final 3 projects and have to say that I was inmensely disappointed by the jury’s commentaries, and eventually their decision. There was another project which exhibted much more potential but as it comes down to nowadays ‘pretty’ renderings are the selling point. In the end I hope the constructed form will look, if anything, similar to these ‘renderings’. The intended construction strategy will require much ‘hidden engineering’ as jack puts it, but also a lot of visible ones, which will be hard to detail let alone construct, and more than anything will detract a lot from the apparent smoothness of the form. In any case I hope they pull it off…

  • Regarding the difference between “pavilion” and “sculpture”, I would say that what makes a pavilion, pavilion is when that sculpture became or start to define a space, …a human inhabited and reported sculpture.
    A pavilion is a bridge between sculpture and a classic architectural product / a house…
    Regarding this particular pavilion, indeed, I would also enjoyed to be more “honest”, without such a contrast between structure/technical part and the final look.

  • pooja

    Seems like a first year basic design project.

  • I try checking out the sculptural developments each year in Londons Bedford Square, I like the sort of abstracted or mutated but somehow remaining a utility object that each of these seem to embrace, The current piece by Danecia Sibingo is wonderful for the curiously harmonic aura it seems to generate, I thought this and still do even though the name Driftwood , which I have subsequently learned as the title seems unworthy of such a poetic structure – maybe its just me.

  • I enjoy the piece. Pavilion might refer to the flag meaning. Then it is even more successful. it made us look and think.

    Be well