Dezeen Magazine

Coachella festival pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio built using over a tonne of paper pulp

Ball-Nogues Studio created a sinuous orange and purple pavilion that towered over music fans at this year's Coachella music festival by blasting pigmented paper pulp over a string structure (+ slideshow).

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio

Los Angeles architecture office Ball-Nogues Studio devised a method of air blasting paper pulp onto the network of twine-covered columns to create Pulp Pavilion, which was installed for the 2015 edition of the annual California music festival.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Photograph by Omar Garza

The spindly latticed structures were created by weaving over 2,200 metres of twine around formwork, then air blasting this material with over a tonne of orange-pigmented paper pulp.

Once dry, the rigid components were clustered together to create a structure with a scalloped roof edge.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio

"Pulp Pavilion represents the culmination of five years of experiments with material composites using reclaimed paper," said the design team, whose previous projects include a desert paddling pool and a stage made of coffee tables.

"Historically inapplicable to architectural structure and considered disposable, paper exhibits unique sculptural capabilities when recycled into pulp," they added.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio

The waste paper used for the pavilion had no additional chemicals added to it, meaning that after its two-week stint at the festival most of the structure could be recycled or composted.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Photograph by Chris Ball

The arid climate of the desert region helped speed up the drying process and preserve the pavilion once constructed.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio

"To our knowledge this is the first architectural application of this material and process," said the designers.

"As a construction system it holds tremendous potential for temporary buildings in terms of lifecycle, costs, availability of materials, structural efficiency and aesthetics. With development it may be applicable to permanent structures."

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Photograph by Chris Ball

The columns funnelled outwards towards the top to create a latticed canopy designed to provide concert-goers with some respite from the heat of the sun, while timber benches were arranged around the base.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Twine being weaved around the pillars

"The pavilion was an ideal shelter from the dry air, heat, and intense sunlight of the desert," added the team.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
The pillars being air blasted with over a tonne of pigmented paper pulp. Photograph by Rafael Sampaio Rocha

Spotlights set into the seats and columns projected brightly coloured lighting onto the pavilion at night.

Pulp pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
The columns covered in orange and purple paper pulp prior to being assembled. Photograph by Benjamin Ball

The pavilion was in place for the entirety of the festival, which ran over two weekends from 10 to 19 April.

Photography is by Joshua White, unless otherwise stated.

Project credits:

Lead artists and principals in charge: Benjamin Ball, Gaston Nogues
Project manager: Rafael Sampaio Rocha
Ball-Nogues project team: Ricardo Garcia, John Guinn, Fernando Marroquin, Rafael Sampaio Rocha, Forster Rudolph, Corie Saxman, Nicole Semenova, Ethan Schwartz
Additional Ball-Nogues support: Andrew Fastman, Michael Anthony Fontana, Cory Hill, James Jones, Mora Nabi, Jacob Patapoff, Allison Porterfield
Engineering consultant: Nous Engineering, Omar Garza
Light programming: Myles Sciotto
Lighting Supplier: Felix Lighting
Coachella art curator: Paul Clemente