How does art intervene in the Radcliffe institute’s property located adjacent to Cambridge’s bustling Harvard square?
There is no doubt that art is one of the most powerful vehicles for bringing people together in moments of contemplation. The concept comes from the image of igniting fire. Fire can only continue when is has oxygen. This is the essential element that keeps the flame alive. The fire can be interpreted as people and their behavior in urban context. In the same way
this project seeks to create a place where people can gather and meditate on the art regardless their ages. At the same time, this place functions itself as a piece of art. So, this proposal has a specific role and space to provide meditating shelter for the general public. The pavilion acts like a bridge which allows people to meander through the site in an endless loop. An open-ended program such as a gallery, souvenir shop or cafeteria is proposed under the bridge. The place can be converted from an empty ground to a place that attracts people of all ages throughout the day and over the course of the year. During the day, the bridge can be used as an exhibition space or even serve as a playground for skateboarding children. Natural landscape can serve as seating for visitors while simultaneously working as looping pathway for visitors. The pavilion functions as a catalyst for visitors to stay and meditate throughout the whole day instead of only accommodating quick visits. Also, the exterior is fully contextualized and merges into the local conditions. Thus, this pavilion is not only a shelter for welcoming the general public but also a piece of art looks like a minimal bridge. Just as fire only becomes white if temperatures rise to a certain point, ultimately, we hope that we can see white fire on the site.
The entrance is planned to be accessible for everyone coming from the outside and arriving from all directions. After fully considering the existing landscape, the pavilion was located on the northern part of the site and rotated to make an endless loop within the boundary. This way, visitors can freely approach from the existing passageways and cross Brattle Street, to arrive at the new courtyard in Radcliffe yard.
The naturally inclined surface is terraced to allow people to sit and enjoy time in the sun. From the elevated seats, you can overview the surroundings including the Radcliffe yard. Courtyard can function as a place for performance or outdoor exhibition space. Landscaped stairs and existing benches can also be used as seats for visitors.
In terms of constructability, the bridge is a simple arch which spans between two foundation walls. The excavated land is used as mounds which surround the temporary pavilion in Radcliffe yard. In order to make the endless loop of circulation, a natural slope is proposed so that earth infill can remain below the structure of the wooden stairs.