architect kristoffer tejlgaard has designed and built a fully transparent 25-square-meter pavilion that resembles a water droplet. born out of a desire to create a high-quality contemporary alternative to traditionally glazed greenhouses, the structure is an engineered self-supporting dome, which can function as a garden pavilion, greenhouse, mobile exhibition pavilion, or a recreational space. to ensure quick build and disassembly times, 6mm polycarbonate sheets are assembled with stainless steel nuts and bolts.
all images courtesy of atelier kristoffer tejlgard
kristoffer tejlgaard’s fascination with domes started with buckminster fuller and his ideas about ecological design. since tejlgaard, and his studio AKT, erected their first geodesic dome at roskilde festival in 2011, several similar structures have been added to his portfolio. building on fuller’s legacy, AKT keeps challenging the established construction industry and aims to keep experimenting in order to optimize the way we consume resources in our buildings.
‘specifically, in relation to the droplet, the design leaves the geometric principles of the geodesic dome, with a desire to meet modern industrial production methods and material dimensions, while retaining a high aesthetic quality,’ tejlgaard explains. ‘through 3D-modelling, it was possible to generate a geometry based on rhombuses, more suited for industrial production. with this geometry the material waste could be reduced by approx. 30% compared to a geodesic dome structure based on pentagons and hexagons.’
the form of the structure is generated by the rhombus shapes of the flat sheets and by displacing the holes slightly between the overlapping sheets in a controlled manner. this curvature gives the pavilion incredible strength and allows for a thin façade without the need for internal load bearing walls or steel frames. in order to reach the required precision, CNC-milling was used for the sheets, which are also dimensioned to take full advantage of standard sized polycarbonate sheets from the manufacturer.
the polycarbonate sheets are designed to overlap like fish scales, keeping the structure weatherproof without the need for seals or caulk. the structure can be fitted with aluminum or wooden doors and a PEHD thermoplastic foundation ring extended 50cm into the ground to keep rodents at bay. the droplet can be tailored to accommodate individual needs — from the type of foundation to size, shading, façade solution, transparency level and interior layout.
it is also possible to add an awning to provide shade on sunny days. the droplet can be fitted with a base made of CLT (cross laminated timber), which consists of three interlocking floor pieces and ensures that the droplet is kept grounded during stormy weather. importantly, along with the above mentioned properties, the pavilion has been designed for disassembly. all materials used in the structure can easily be recycled when the pavilion no longer serves a purpose.
image by niels gammelgaard
name: the droplet
architects: atelier kristoffer tejlgaard
location: copenhagen, denmark
architect in charge: kristoffer tejlgaard
project year: 2018 –
area: 25 sqm | 269 sqf
height: 3.0m | 9.8ft
diameter: 6.3m | 20.7ft
photographs: atelier kristoffer tejlgard, niels gammelgard
manufacturers: markant A/S
philip stevens I designboom
jun 16, 2019