Ephemeral complexity: Alumafel exhibition stand

Ephemeral complexity: Alumafel exhibition stand

Pedro García Martínez Architect
Madrid, Spain | View Map
Art Galleries
María Llorens

Ephemeral complexity: Alumafel exhibition stand

Pedro García Martínez Architect as Architects

This ephemeral architecture project is a company exhibition pavilion for a fair in Madrid. This company is dedicated to manufacturing windows and carpentry elements made of aluminum. Therefore, this material should have a prominent presence in the image of the whole. Based on this premise, the team endeavored to create a design taking into account two main issues.


On one hand, the exhibited objects are carefully arranged on the stand floor, so those that are more important (either because of their newness or because of their sophistication) have a more prominent position and more free space around them. In a way it could be said that each of these objects is surrounded by an imaginary bubble. The size of these bubbles is proportional to the importance of the object. Since the total available area is limited, some of these bubbles partially overlap, generating, in addition, paths that link the different areas together.


Simultaneously, the project endeavors, in sections, to show this same idea. In order to achieve this goal, the materials come together to create the effect of an imaginary surface, a kind of continuous mantle suspended over the exposed objects. The geometry of this surface was reshaped because of the size of the aforementioned bubbles. A series of ridges and valleys that oscillated according to the relevance of the exposed elements were outlined. This topography descends to lead the visitor to circulate around the exhibit and to highlight some points of view.


The problem that remained to be solved was to choose the appropriate material for the surface outlined by the software while maintaining a continuous pattern. During the design process, it had acquired a complex shape, one difficult to be built. Fortunately, a ready-made solution awaited at the company's facilities. After visiting one of its warehouses, the team discovered some leftover cylindrical pieces that had not met some of the specifications for other projects. Just waiting to be recycled, their defects were practically imperceptible to the naked eye. So the decision was taken to use these pieces of aluminum to build a discontinuous evocation of that virtual and imaginary surface.


In just five days, the team suspended 1,933 aluminum cylinders using 4,523 meters of metallic wire with pinpoint accuracy. The surface was perceived despite the discontinuity of the recycled pieces of aluminum. Besides, the exhibition space of the pavilion was more permeable to the eye and was flooded by anodized reflections. All this generated an atmosphere of lightness and transparency that shrouded the exhibits. The different areas of the exhibition space are visually and physically connected to each other as part of a promenade.


Having successfully fulfilled the project requirements, the architecture of this exhibition space awaits days like today. It challenges the visitor’s gaze to overcome the inevitable ephemeral nature of this type of project.

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