Author Archives: Prince Osemwengie


The Dragon Skin Pavilion is a small installation designed by Finnish architects, Emmi Keskisarjaas and Pekka Tynkkynen, as an exhibition piece for the 2012 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture event. The Dragon Skin Pavilion, as noted in its name draws design inspiration from the scales of the skin on a dragon. Utilizing a combined total of 163-rectangle panel, this pavilion explores the “regular nature of repetitive framework juxtaposed against irregular interconnections” as it configures itself to give rise to the pavilion’s overall form.

Apart from the overall beauty of this installation’s composition, the simple consistency employed within its construction is what really makes this installation unique. Starting with a regular rectangular panel, four small notches are routed into every panel using a CNC router. With the aid of a computer program the notches are adjusted and positioned precisely following an algorithmic procedure and script that gradually shifts and angles each notch accordingly, as well as labels each panel for assemblage. The rectangular panels, which are composed entirely out of Grada Plywood, a new type of post-formable plywood, are then pressed using a single mold. Last but not least the bent panels are then slid into to place, forming the shape of the shape of the pavilion.

Moreover, while the bent plywood panels provide both structural support as well as compositional aesthetic to the pavilion. The slight curvature of the panels also allows soft light to pass through the pavilion’s exterior to illuminate the interior. Thus as a result of the curved plywood enables the pavilion to blur the boundaries of solid vs. transparency in the reading of the exterior juxtaposed against its interior.

All in all, the Dragon Skin Pavilion in relationship to our class project illustrates that with the use of simple repetition, construction technique, and the absolute bare minimum use of digital fabrication, provocative works of arts can be achieved; while simultaneously diverging in complex architectural ideology in terms of composition, spatial configuration, and functionality.


Dragon Skin Pavilion:

Grada Plywood: