Nature meets computational algorithms in Brazilian design practice SELVAGEN’s Arena Arbor, a striking geodome pavilion created for the CasaCor Pernambuco 2018, a major conference that explores interior design, architecture and landscape architecture. Developed using parametric design methodologies, the pop-up event space takes inspiration from the structure of a tree from the root system to the way light filters through the canopy.
Spanning an area of 65 square meters, the dome-shaped pavilion was primarily erected as a space for lectures and debates, but it also serves as a resting space located in a quiet area near the back of the site. The structure was mainly constructed from medium density fiberboard (MDF) arranged in triangular modules punctuated with small windows and angled to prevent the accumulation of water. A star-shaped window was inserted at the top of the dome to let daylight through.
“The whole space was conceived as a metaphor related to the tree, due to its meaningful symbolism as a natural element representational of life and the ludic aspect it brings in our memories for playful and comforting moments that will deeply affect the experiences people will have when inside the arena,” SELVAGEN explained in a project statement. “Also, by analyzing the morphology of a tree, it was possible to understand the functional particularity of each component for the construction of the whole, which was fundamental for Arbor Arena’s location, floor, structure, roof and lighting as the tree’s environment, root, trunk, crown and flower.”
The interior, also built of timber, is organized around a half-moon stage and amphitheater-like seating that takes inspiration from the roots of a tree. Native vegetation, including palm trees, was also brought indoors. The pavilion can be accessed from two entrances, both of which are framed in weathered steel perforated with a triangle pattern in reference to the building’s triangular motif.