Posted on: 07/12/2015 Posted by: Alice Morby Comments: 0

Shift Architecture Urbanism has updated Bernard Tschumi’s glass pavilion in Groningen by applying a layer of translucent film displaying all of the colours of the rainbow (+ slideshow).

The Glass Video Gallery was completed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi in 1990 as part of an outdoor exhibition in the Dutch city.

Twenty-five years later, Rotterdam studio Shift has adapted the structure so that, as visitors move around it, colours appear to blend into another and create new shades.

Named CMY Pavilion, the design is based on the subtractive colour system – a process typically used in printing where cyan, magenta and yellow, collectively known as CMY, are mixed to create a larger range of colours.

Bands of CMY transparent film were applied to the glass facade of the box-like structure, allowing light to pass through and mix the colours. This allows visitors to see a much wider spectrum of hues.

“We completely wrapped the transparent pavilion in a colour pattern,” Shift director Thijs van Bijsterveldt told Dezeen. “The glass walls allow it to become a three-dimensional graphic piece that changes with the viewpoint of the spectator.”

Depending on the viewpoint, the strips of film create secondary “virtual colours” at the points where they overlap – a technique previously used by Studio Dennis Parren to create a lamp that casts coloured shadows.



“Cyan and magenta make blue, yellow and cyan make green, and yellow and magenta make red,” Bijsterveldt explained.

Throughout the night, the structure is illuminated from the inside – allowing the colour-mixing effect to continue.

Tschumi was one of five architects enlisted by the Groninger Museum at the start of the 1990s to create pavilions suitable for viewing music videos.

Structures by Peter Eisenman, Coop Himmelblau and Zaha Hadid have since been dismantled, while the fifth – by OMA – now functions as a bus stop.

Shift is the first architecture studio to update Tschumi’s pavilion, although over 80 artists have created interventions for the structure in the last 25 years.

“In the past, interventions were done by different types of artists that mostly used the glass pavilion as an urban vitrine for their work,” said Bijsterveldt. “As architects, we were interested in interacting with the pavilion itself.”

Bernard Tschumi’s 1990 Glass Video Gallery without Shift’s film

Situated by a busy junction in Groningen, the pavilion will remain in its current state until September 2015.

It bears a similarity to SelgasCano’s recently installed Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London – a rainbow-coloured structure built using coloured, translucent and mirrored plastic sheeting.

Site plan
Net for CMY film
Magenta position diagram
Cyan position diagram
Yellow position diagram
Diagram showing the overlay of the colours

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