Pavilion by Zaha Hadid

"Superimpositions of spatial structures with hidden traces of Burnham's organizational systems create unexpected results in the Burnham Pavilion. By using methods of overlaying, complexity is built up and inscribed in the structure."

-Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid's designs have the power to reinterpret and invigorate our understanding of what a building or a cityscape can be. Her fluid structures evolve from experimentation with cutting-edge technologies to reinterpret space itself.

Examining Burnham's drawings in the Plan of Chicago, Hadid was struck by how the city's diagonal streets open up the otherwise rigid street grid. Lengthening the drawn line of one of the diagonals, she marked where the street would fall if extended into Millennium Park. The design for the Burnham Pavilion incorporates that line, as the structural ribs and openings in the roof run parallel to an imaginary extension of Daniel Burnham's diagonal streets. The result is Hadid's sinuous pavilion that plays with shadow, light and space.

More than 7,000 pieces of aluminum- no two alike- were individually bent and welded together, creating the pavilion's curvilinear form. Thousands of yards of fabric were custom tailored and tightly fit onto the interior and exterior aluminum-tube structure. The ridges of the aluminum are deliberately expressed through the external skin. The Marmon/Keystone Corporation donated much of the aluminum that provides the frame of curved ribs supporting the pavilion.

The interplay of light and shadow changes as the skylights cast shadows on the curving interior walls during the day. In the evening, a film installation by artist Thomas Gray will be projected onto the fluid fabric interior from different points inside the pavilion, creating a fully immersive effect. The film impressionistically reflects Chicago's transformation from 1909 to present, and includes the voices of people throughout the Chicago region sharing their visions of the future.

Accompanying the film is a creative multi-channel sound track by Lou Mallozzi of Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago. Both the interior and exterior surfaces of the pavilion are bathed in ever-changing lighting designed by Dear Productions.

The pavilion's materials are completely recyclable, and can be dismantled and reinstalled in its entirety elsewhere after the Centennial. (Construction Gallery coming soon.)

Photos by: Eric Y. Exit and Thomas Gray

Burnham Hadid Pavillion - Green 1

Burnham Hadid Pavillion - Blue

Burnham Hadid Pavillion - Green 2

Burnham Hadid Pavillion - Interior

Hadid Pavillion Detail