Michael Friebele
Contributed by:
Michael Friebele
Assoc. AIA

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Unbuilt Design Awards Spotlight: B3 Cultural Pavilion_Concept - RTKL

Leading up to the Unbuilt Design Awards Closing Reception on July 11th at Life in Deep Ellum we will take a look at the five entries honored this year in more detail prior to the panel discussion.

The closing reception for this year’s Unbuilt Design Awards Gallery will be held at Life in Deep Ellum on Saturday, July 11th from 6-9pm. We welcome back members of the winning project teams for an engaging discussion about their work, the show as a whole, as well as the dialogue of design. Leading up to the event we will refresh, in brief, the winning entries as well as some of the juror comments.

Up first, the B3 Plot Cultural Pavilion_Concept by RTKL. Perhaps one of the prevailing trends throughout juror comments from the past decade points toward a concept’s clear understanding and approach as the reason for selection. Clarity can trend back to the beginning of our careers in academia where projects were often judged more on upon their merit of understanding rather than that of a flashy approach or purely form driven design.

Of the body of work submitted for the Unbuilt Exhibition this year the B3 Pavilion by RTKL is arguably one of the easiest concepts to understand at first glance. Envisioned as a cultural hub for a planned, high-rise residential district near the Burj Khalifa, the pavilion works to stitch a complex program together through a form that evokes traditional vernacular architecture. The idea of using Bedouin tents is as reverent as it is functional, utilizing traditional design elements as a means of creating flexibility and addressing the environmental response toward the harsh desert climate.

The judges praised the environmental aspects of the project, a primarily passive system that, in tandem with the building form, creates a micro-climate within the interior. The form, working with a series of sun studies, minimizes solar heat gain and maximizes shading throughout the public space below. Pools of water introduced around the base provide evaporative cooling that filters through to the interior volume.

To view more on the B3 Pavilion visit the AIA Design Awards Unbuilt Gallery.