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Pop-Up Pavilion: Best Use of Timber Awards 2017 Shortlist

Name of building
Pop-Up Pavilion
Date Completed
June 2017
Building type
The Mound, Edinburgh in 2016
Konishi Gaffney Architects
Designer site
Main contractor

J. Sailer Fabrications
Timber Supplier: Cladding by Russwood, structural timber by James Jones and sons


The Project

The brief was for an eco-friendly, pop-up pavilion to ‘represent Edinburgh’ in an outdoor exhibition on The Mound in June-July 2016. The challenging brief included a limit in size of 5x5x5m and a tight programme, with a site installation period of one week.

The design, developed through the use of folded origami maquettes, drew inspiration from the idea of a ‘pop-up’ pavilion. The final form was derived from two back-to-back pyramids with three openings ‘pulled out’ to make a door, window and skylight. The simple volume, conceived as a glacial ‘erratic’ boulder, was formed using prefabricated truss-like triangular frames.

Use Of Timber

The use of timber in this project allowed for multiple advantages in terms of ease of construction, sustainability and aesthetics. By using a lightweight timber frame modular construction system the pavilion was able to be pre-fabricated off site and easily transported and erected for the exhibition.

The frame was built using modular, truss-like triangular frames; the outer frame used 100x100mm kiln dried Larch as the primary structure with a 50x50mm Larch inner bracing supplied by James Jones & Sons from their Lockerbie sawmill. A plywood skin provided racking resistance followed by a waterproof breather membrane. The outer layer was clad in Scottish Larch supplied by Russwood, with the cladding arranged in diagonal pattern to follow and accentuate the form of the pavilion. Internally the pavilion was finished with a lime based whitewash to accentuate the pattern of internal bracing.

The use of timber allowed for quick, simple and lightweight construction taking just five weeks off-site and led by local craftsman Johannes Sailer. The inherent strength of the timber meant steel elements were kept to a minimum meaning that the tools and skills required were kept to a minimum and costs kept low.

Images: Konishi Gaffney Architects

European Larch is a hard strong timber with an attractive warm reddish brown or terracotta colour with gold streaks, which fades to silver after prolonged

Scotlarch® is the registered trade name for Russwood’s selected heartwood of Scottish-grown European Larch. A hard tough timber which dried quickly. It is about 50

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