DESIGN: Coachella festival pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio built using over a tonne of paper pulp

(One of the things Rolf Klausener from Arboretum Festivals discussed on the podcast this week was their use of architectural design as a part of their event.  As a fan of architecture and its wonderful messing with physics, it amazes me some of the fantastic designs and builds that are accomplished these days.  Over the next week, we will look at some of the great partnerships between architects, designers, builders, and festivals that bring us some of the most wonderful art installations for these great events.  Here is a prime example, put together by the fine folks at Ball-Nogues Studio for the 2015 edition of Coachella.  Awesome. – FATS)


Ball-Nogues Studio created a sinuous orange and purple pavilion that towered over music fans at this year’s Coachella music festival by blasting pigmented paper pulp over a string structure.  Los Angeles architecture office Pulp-Pavilion-by-Ball-Nogues-studio_dezeen_bBall-Nogues Studio devised a method of air blasting paper pulp onto the network of twine-covered columns to create Pulp Pavilion, which was installed for the 2015 edition of the annual California music festival.

The spindly latticed structures were created by weaving over 2,200 metres of twine around formwork, then air blasting this material with over a tonne of orange-pigmented paper pulp.

Once dry, the rigid components were clustered together to create a structure with a scalloped roof edge.

“Pulp Pavilion represents the culmination of five years of experiments with material composites using reclaimed paper,” said the design team, whose previous projects include a desert paddling pool and a stage made of coffee tables.

“Historically inapplicable to architectural structure and considered disposable, paper exhibits unique sculptural capabilities when recycled into pulp,” they added.  The waste paper used for the pavilion had no additional chemicals Pulp-Pavilion-by-Ball-Nogues-studio_dezeen_aadded to it, meaning that after its two-week stint at the festival most of the structure could be recycled or composted.  The arid climate of the desert region helped speed up the drying process and preserve the pavilion once constructed.

“To our knowledge this is the first architectural application of this material and process,” said the designers.

“As a construction system it holds tremendous potential for temporary buildings in terms of lifecycle, costs, availability of materials, structural efficiency and aesthetics. With development it may be applicable to permanent structures.”  The columns funnelled outwards towards the top to create a latticed canopy designed to provide concert-goers with some respite from the heat of the sun, while timber benches were arranged around the base.  “The pavilion was an ideal shelter from the dry air, heat, and intense sunlight of the desert,” added the team.  Spotlights set into the seats and columns projected brightly coloured lighting onto the pavilion at night.

Project credits:

Lead artists and principals in charge: Benjamin Ball, Gaston Nogues
Project manager: Rafael Sampaio Rocha
Ball-Nogues project team: Ricardo Garcia, John Guinn, Fernando Marroquin, Rafael Sampaio Rocha, Forster Rudolph, Corie Saxman, Nicole Semenova, Ethan Schwartz
Additional Ball-Nogues support: Andrew Fastman, Michael Anthony Fontana, Cory Hill, James Jones, Mora Nabi, Jacob Patapoff, Allison Porterfield
Engineering consultant: Nous Engineering, Omar Garza
Light programming: Myles Sciotto
Lighting Supplier: Felix Lighting
Coachella art curator: Paul Clemente