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This event is free

Presented by:

  • Seattle Design Festival

  • Johnston Architects

  • Stop by the new SDF Pavilion to learn more about this year’s Festival. Pick up your schedule-at-a-glance, meet Festival volunteers, engage with our SDF Partners!

    Earlier the year SDF hosted our Pavilion Design Competition, to find a design that would be the visual anchor of the Festival. We are excited to work with the team at Johnston Architects to bring this design to SDF 2022 CONNECTION! Learn more about the inspiration behind the winning design!

    About the Design
    The history of Seattle cannot be separated from its culture of industry, innovation, and connection to flight. Aviation history is tied to our city with multiple major airports, the Museum of Flight, and the Boeing Company, one of the world’s most notable airplane manufacturers. JA’s design for the SDF Pavilion invites visitors to connect with the dynamic early history of taking flight in Seattle – and beyond.

    In 1903 the Wright brothers accomplished their first flight, but the same year Alexander Graham Bell wrote about his work with Tetrahedral Kites in an issue of National Geographic. Experimenting with Hargrave’s box kites, Graham attempted to build a kite that was scalable: large enough to carry both person and motor.

    As a multi-celled rigid box composed of tetrahedrally shaped cells, the kite forms a kind of nascent space-frame while expressing its tetrahedrally compound shape. An early experiment on the path to manned flight, the Tetrahedral Kite inspires the forms and patterns of this Pavilion.

    The practical requirements of the SDF Pavilion brief gave the design team a loose program of size, purpose, and described the need for ease of assembly, disassembly, reassembly, and transport. Over the course of two charettes, the idea of stick-built structures and tents began to evolve into structures resembling 3D trusses with lightweight structural skeletons. Combined with Seattle’s inspiring innovation in flight, these concepts began to morph into an architectural cousin of Bell’s historic kites.

    Design Team: Johnston Architects