Burnham Pavilion

The Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects triggers the visitors’ curiosity and encourages them to consider the future of Chicago. “It’s about reinvention and improvement on an urban scale and about welcoming the future with innovative ideas and technologies. Our design continues Chicago’s renowned tradition of cutting edge architecture and engineering, at the scale of a temporary pavilion, whilst referencing the organizational systems of Burnham’s Plan.” said Zaha Hadid. “The structure is aligned with a diagonal in Burnham’s early 20th Century Plan of Chicago. We then overlay fabric using contemporary 21st Century techniques to generate the fluid, organic form – while the structure is always articulated through the tensioned fabric as a reminder of Burnham’s original ideas.” The pavilion is composed of an intricate curved aluminium structure, with each element shaped and welded in order to create its unique fluid form. Fabric skins have been tightly zipped around the metal frame to create the curvilinear shape. The interior skin also serves as the screen for a video installation by Thomas Gray that explores Chicago’s past and future. “Fabric is both a traditional and a high-tech material whose form is directly related to the forces applied to it – creating beautiful geometries that are never arbitrary. I find this very exciting.” explained Hadid.