Sheffield Pavilions 2016 – Interview with Paul King

One of the commissioned works for Sheffield Design Week this year has been the Sheffield Pavilions planned and designed by Paul King and Sam Vardy at Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Architecture made possible through their Catalyst Festival of Creativity.

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The Sheffield Pavilions 2016

Harnessing the idea of ‘the pavilion’ as a temporary structure, designed to be reused, the Sheffield pavilions are built using a laser cut modular system. Simple folded steel panels can be reconfigured during each assembly to create one or a series of different sized pavilions. The folding of the steel material is based on the Yoshimura origami folding pattern, giving structural integrity to a flat surface. Primarily designed as flexible exhibition space for the school of architecture at SHU, the pavilions have the ability to host a whole array of activities and will next be used as a bar in Hallam Square by Sheffield Hallam University Architecture School during the degree show
What could you use them for?


 

We caught up with Paul King to find out more.

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Where did you study and who have you worked with?
I studied at The University of Manchester between 1993 – 1999 and then worked in Manchester for Urban Splash until 2003. It was a great time to be an architect in Manchester as the city changed immensely during my time there. I even got to go to the famous Hacienda a few times before it closed! Practicing in Manchester was an informative time in my career, I was based in the US Box Works site office and worked closely on site with contractors and fabricators, I got to understand how to make architecture and developed a passion for it. I moved to London in 2003 for ‘a couple of years’ but ended up staying for there 10, working for Ian Simpson Architects and Glenn Howells Architects on mostly urban projects in London, but again, the majority of my time was on site. I eventually set up my own practice on the back of being shortlisted for an RIBA international design competition.

Could you explain the work you do at SHU and your own practice?
I currently lead the undergraduate BSc Architecture course at Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Architecture. The course is unique in its overt focus on sustainable architecture and designing for an uncertain future. I have academic responsibility for around 200 students which keeps me busy. I enjoy teaching architecture to our talented and energetic students, it keeps me excited about the role and importance of architecture in society.

As a full time academic my research is my practice, specifically practising through a PhD Architectural Design. I am researching digital fabrication and methods of making in relation to the future practice of architects and education of architecture students, part-time, at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. The PhD is ‘by design’ so I get to do what I like best, building stuff. I am keen to expose my students to the process of building too.

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How would you describe the design of the pavilions?
Harnessing the idea of ‘the pavilion’ as a temporary structure, designed to be reused, the Sheffield pavilions are built using a laser cut modular system. Simple folded steel panels can be reconfigured during each assembly to create one or a series of different sized pavilions. Primarily designed as flexible exhibition space for the school of architecture at SHU, the pavilions have the ability to host a whole array of activities and will next be used as a bar in Hallam Square by Sheffield Hallam University Architecture School during the degree show.

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What is the material, how were they made?
The pavilions are made from 2mm folded mild steel sheets. The folds are based on the Yoshimura origami folding pattern. The folds give structural integrity to the sheet material. I have worked closely with Richard, Mick and Gareth at MB Products in Barnsley to design and make the pavilions over the past few months. We have used prototypes at a variety of scales in paper, cardboard and steel to explore the best fabrication methods and geometry of the pavilions.

What other projects are you working on?
I’m working on the design of a series of structures in and around Sheffield Hallam University for my PhD, and of course the never ending project of my own house! In terms of my practice/research I have some exciting collaborations planned and will announce these in due course…….watch those spaces!

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Funding:
Thanks to Sheffield Institute of Arts and the Catalyst Festival of Creativity

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Collaborators:
Paul King and Sam Vardy, Sheffield Hallam School of Architecture
Patrick Murphy of MADE NORTH & Sheffield Design Week
Fabrictor:
MB Products, Barnsley

For further details contact Paul King
p.king@shu.ac.uk

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