The primary design intent for the art pavilion was to create a recognizable presence for contemporary productions in Salzburg, a city that is predominantly known for classical music. The main user of the pavilion is the Salzburg Biennale, a festival for contemporary music. soma architecture developed in collaboration with Bollinger + Grohmann an architectural concept based on a theme that is self-evident in architecture as well as music – rule and variation. Other than conventional design processes that develop forms that are then split up into buildable parts, the adaptive design process starts with a simple base element, a possible range of rules for accumulation and the definition of the targeted architectural effects. In case of the pavilion a 2-meter long aluminium profile is arrayed to create oscillating spatial effects. The single sticks merge into a mass-like structure that changes its appearance during the day according to different light conditions. The speculative intention behind the “obliteration” of the pavilions structure is to prevent any conventional notion or cliché of “construction”. Instead the pavilion should appear arbitrary to invite visitors to invent their own associations and interpretations.
To evolve the structure, a parametric model was built in grasshopper that allow a multiplicity of solutions. Each variation ensures by its definition the first aesthetical criteria. To find a solution that is in addition structurally optimized, the tool Karamba was used. Karamba allows the assembly and calculation of parametric spatial framework structures inside of Grasshopper. This way a decisive criterion for the performance is obtained: the maximum deflection of each individual. Karamba was combined with a genetic algorithm to extensively search the solution space.