Treehugger, a strikingly lit temporary pavilion currently exhibited at the National Garden Show in Koblenz, is a truly collaborative project which brought together craftsmen, professors as well as university students from across Germany.
Initiated in 2009 by Christoph Krause, director of the Koblenz’s Center for Design, Manufacturing and Communication, Treehugger and its integrated interactive light installation have been designed by students from the University of Applied Sciences, Trier who were led by the Düsseldorf-based Holger Hoffmann and his practice, one fine day while the structural engineering and the construction have been developed by respectively: Office for Structural Design and OCHS GmbH.
From the architects:
‘Our main aim was to give students as well as craftsmen a broader understanding of recent computational design and computer aided manufacturing technology. During planning and building period this knowledge should ideally be shared between the disciplines in a kind of a “digital mason’s lodge” setting. Thus it is not just the pavilion itself but even more the back and forth of a development-process that we see at the core of our efforts.’
‘For sustainability reasons “treehugger” will not only be erected once and then disappear, but it will be relocated in October 2011. Therefore the decomposability of the timber-structure has been of great importance from the beginning of the project. We have decided to use materials accordingly and thus avoided the sexiness of digital modernism’s white surfaces in favor of a much more tectonic appearance.’
‘“Treehugger” is located next to basilica St. Castor in the vicinity of “Deutsches Eck” on a plot that has previously been used as a parking lot. Here, the pavilion is situated at a pivotal position in between the Gardening Show and the surrounding urban fabric. It will perform as a platform for diverse events during summer 2011. In October 2011 “treehugger” will be dismantled to then be re-erected on the premises of the Chamber of Skilled Crafts, Koblenz.’
‘“Treehugger” has to serve as a place for exhibitions, lectures, workshops and similar events. Thus a circuit, a one-directional space and a row of cubicles had to be implemented within in one spatial configuration – which normally results in a claim for flexibility that would then be answered with as little spatial or structural determination as possible. In this case however we have decided to rather blend the three main programs. By rotating one structural element (the tree-like columns) around a pivot in the center of the pavilion different regions of possible action emerge. This fairly simple geometrical operation then allows for all three conditions to take place at the same time: the exhibition pieces of the circuit are shielded by the tree-like columns that again create in between cubicles for work-stations in a workshop scenario. Lectures take place in a “Totaltheater”-like central space.’