Oblò - officina di architettura – young architecture practice based in Milan and Paris, founded by Alessandro Benetti, Francesca Coden, Margherita Locatelli and Emanuele Romani – realised the temporary Chill-out pavilion, together with Giulia Celentano, architect, and Alberto D’Asaro, architect. The pavilion was designed as part of the first edition of Rockavilla Festival (17–20 july 2014, Mariano Comense).
Chill-out pavilion, settled in the garden of the XVIIIth century Villa Sormani, was conceived as an en-plein-air living room. It provides a relax shelter for visitors of the festival. The pavilion has been realised reversing the traditional design process. Its building materials do not result from design choices: they are rather the starting point from which the project has been drafted.
The pavilion was thus designed according to the available materials (nothing has been purchased). Seven linden trees (Tilia europaea), one hundred and fifty meters of orange construction site fabric, a hundred meters of green construction site fabric, four reinforcing steel rods, four catenaries outdoor lighting of twenty-four meters length, sixteen wooden reels and seven pallets.
Chill-out pavilion, with its semi-transparent diaphragm of green and orange fabric, is lit from above by the catenaries lighting. It harmonizes with the surrounding garden, emphasizing the feeling of quiet and intimacy of the existing timbering clearing of the villa: the overall effect is that of a “lantern”, continuously and smoothly vibrating as it emerges from the underwood, defining a variable intensity of light casting through the garden.
THE SPACE The pavilion is set in a rather uncommon way into the garden, composing two different ambiences: a “rotunda” (diameter: 7 meters) stands facing the stage, while a “L” shaped room stretches out towards the west wing of the villa. It is a highly strategic spot: on the one hand, the “rotunda” lays in continuity with the enfilade of the internal rooms, underlining its ambition to function as a proper open air living room; on the other hand, thanks to its stretched shape, the “L” embraces the existing seats (stone blocks, wall side benches) allowing the whole structure to be visible from the entrance to the park along via Montebello, where the public comes from.
These two ambiences also diverge in lighting devices: as light spots align along the external veil, the slight brightness of this second room contrasts with the warm and wraparound light of the “rotunda”, whose ceiling is crossed by the catenaries.
The thin diaphragm of the construction site fabric allows the pavilion to be looked at through one, two or more veils according to the observer’s point of view. This makes it possible to glimpse at the life happening inside, strengthening the close connection to the surrounding space.
THE BEARING STRUCTURE: SEVEN LINDEN TREES The crowns of the seven linden trees, as supporting elements already available on site, provide a remarkable scenographic potential, taking on the role of the main loadbearing structure. The haywire tie-rods are suspended to the crowns, carrying the construction site fabric (orange or green), as well as the lighting system made of catenaries outdoor lighting; wooden reels and pallets, used as seats and tables, completing the domestic layout on the pavilion.