Swire Properties Pavilion 2017

Art Basel Lounge - Red Flower





TEAM HDA : Hugh Dutton, Gaetan Kohler, Azhar Khan, Maria Angela Corsi, Phil Barrett.

DATE : 2017

Through even the smallest and most delicate elements of nature, light permeates and reveals its complex structures. At first glance of a simple flower, we only see the vibrant colors and curved shape. Yet holding a petal up to the light, we see the veins radiate from its stem, a network that not only nourishes but also structurally supports. Humbled by the natural efficacy in its geometric complexity, this design merely states that we should be conversant of humanity’s concession to nature’s perfection.

Simply, two petals reaching to touch shelter the space. Within the grand mega columns of HKCEC, the proximity between the light, transparent structures is enough to create an intimate gathering space without any enclosure. The dialogue between the two forms represents the event for which they are created, Swire’s fruitful efforts to reach out to its community through Art Basel.

Swire supports artist communities through careful curation of their gallery and expositions as well as through sponsorship of events. Art Basel is a forum where Swire host talks and debates on various contemporary themes. For a second consecutive year, Swire commissions HDA to design a space for attendants to participate in a discussion of « Art and Soul of the City » and, of course, to join the reception. Swire’s lounge is the known oasis for the event for many come to relax and mingle at the bar.

Within a quick 36 hours, the lounge is erected. Through the balance of simple materials, wood, metal, and cording, it is the summation of its parts that not only reflects the natural phenomena of a red flower in sunlight but also matches the cosmopolitan vitality filling the space which it shelters. Vibrant red cords warmly contrasts the mirrored metals, yet both harmoniously flood the space with light through its virtual surface.  Technically, this suspended virtual surface is made of stretched elastic cords and floating timber rings supported by the column sleeve. The bar element and the column sleeve are comprised of prefabricated pieces that are assembled around the convention center’s structural column. With sustainability in mind, building materials used for the columns, bar, and back-of-house are re-usable; the lounge is easily dismounted without a trace of its temporary existence.