Brief encounters

Click to enlarge
The Smile by Alison Brooks for the London Design Festival. An innovative and complex use of cross-laminated tulipwood, the 34-metre-long structure is an inhabitable "mega-tube".

The Smile by Alison Brooks for the London Design Festival. An innovative and complex use of cross-laminated tulipwood, the 34-metre-long structure is an inhabitable “mega-tube”.

1 of 20
The Smile is built in the shape of an arc with viewing balconies at each raised end, and is touted as the "first project in the world to use large hardwood CLT panels".

The Smile is built in the shape of an arc with viewing balconies at each raised end, and is touted as the “first project in the world to use large hardwood CLT panels”.

2 of 20
ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations in the National Building Museum, Washington. This 'under water world' installation offers a welcome escape from the hot summer weather.

ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations in the National Building Museum, Washington. This ‘under water world’ installation offers a welcome escape from the hot summer weather. Image: Timothy Schenck

3 of 20
ICEBERGS. The Great Hall has been transformed into a literal representation of a 3D ice cube drawing, with the large polycarbonate icebergs creating texture and movement.

ICEBERGS. The Great Hall has been transformed into a literal representation of a 3D ice cube drawing, with the large polycarbonate icebergs creating texture and movement. Image: Timothy Schenck

4 of 20
Archifest 2016 Pavilion, Singapore by DP Architects. Composed entirely of construction site materials, this multi-coloured urban sculpture offers a place for respite from the busy CBD.

Archifest 2016 Pavilion, Singapore by DP Architects. Composed entirely of construction site materials, this multi-coloured urban sculpture offers a place for respite from the busy CBD. Image: Teo Zi Tong

5 of 20
Archifest 2016 Pavilion. A psychedelic pavilion that is made from safety netting, composed of primary colours, which is suspended from a enormous frame of steel scaffolding.

Archifest 2016 Pavilion. A psychedelic pavilion that is made from safety netting, composed of primary colours, which is suspended from a enormous frame of steel scaffolding. Image: Teo Zi Tong

6 of 20
Energy Pavilion, Museum Gardens, London by Five Line Projects. Constructed mainly from bamboo, it is a kinetic playground of moving objects that focuses on user engagement.

Energy Pavilion, Museum Gardens, London by Five Line Projects. Constructed mainly from bamboo, it is a kinetic playground of moving objects that focuses on user engagement. Image: courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly

7 of 20
Energy Pavilion. Formed by a forest of stainless steel rods stacked with pinwheels, it is a mesmerising moving metaphor for the 'collective energy of the community'.

Energy Pavilion. Formed by a forest of stainless steel rods stacked with pinwheels, it is a mesmerising moving metaphor for the ‘collective energy of the community’. Image: courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly

8 of 20
Kapkar Sf.p7s by Studio Frank Havermans, the Netherlands. Designed and built to host events for a temporary Building Lab (BOUWLAB) that focuses on alternative ways of building.

Kapkar Sf.p7s by Studio Frank Havermans, the Netherlands. Designed and built to host events for a temporary Building Lab (BOUWLAB) that focuses on alternative ways of building. Image: René de Wit

9 of 20
Kapkar Sf.p7s. This low budget, futuristic structure is at once striking, demountable and transportable, and is perfect for meetings, small scale exhibitions and lectures.

Kapkar Sf.p7s. This low budget, futuristic structure is at once striking, demountable and transportable, and is perfect for meetings, small scale exhibitions and lectures. Image: René de Wit

10 of 20
Perspectives by designer Giles Miller, Surrey, England. This shingle-covered structure is inscribed with various personal messages and is sited at the top of a natural vista.

Perspectives by designer Giles Miller, Surrey, England. This shingle-covered structure is inscribed with various personal messages and is sited at the top of a natural vista.

11 of 20
Perspectives installation. Designed as a rest stop for hikers, the cedar wood architecture references organic shapes and is inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings.

Perspectives installation. Designed as a rest stop for hikers, the cedar wood architecture references organic shapes and is inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings.

12 of 20
Perception installation by architect Jan Šépka in the Czech Republic. An attempt to create conversation around how the public perceives landmarks and hidden spaces alike.

Perception installation by architect Jan Šépka in the Czech Republic. An attempt to create conversation around how the public perceives landmarks and hidden spaces alike. Image: Tomas Maly

13 of 20
Perception installation. The celebrated Samson fountain is connected to the local House of Art gallery, with entrance to the gallery only possible along a defined path.

Perception installation. The celebrated Samson fountain is connected to the local House of Art gallery, with entrance to the gallery only possible along a defined path. Image: Tomas Maly

14 of 20
Museum of Immortality II Pavilion by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller for Design Week Mexico. The installation is based on Russian theories of cosmism and resurrection.

Museum of Immortality II Pavilion by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller for Design Week Mexico. The installation is based on Russian theories of cosmism and resurrection. Image: Alberto Jurtega

15 of 20
Museum of Immortality II Pavilion. The ethereal structure is composed of modules assembled into a six-by-six and eight-meter-high hexagonal arrangement that reaches to the sky.

Museum of Immortality II Pavilion. The ethereal structure is composed of modules assembled into a six-by-six and eight-meter-high hexagonal arrangement that reaches to the sky. Image: Alberto Jurtega

16 of 20
Deci Pavilion by Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen in Paris. 10 octagonal drums have been stacked to build the wooden tower, which can fit only one person at a time.

Deci Pavilion by Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen in Paris. 10 octagonal drums have been stacked to build the wooden tower, which can fit only one person at a time. Image: Pezo von Ellrichshausen

17 of 20
Deci Pavilion.The seven-metre-tall structure is intended to be "read as a tenth of another building," while resonating with and reflecting surrounding historic landmarks.

Deci Pavilion.The seven-metre-tall structure is intended to be “read as a tenth of another building,” while resonating with and reflecting surrounding historic landmarks. Image: Pezo von Ellrichshausen

18 of 20
M Pavilion, Melbourne by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai. An exploration of traditional handmade architecture, it is constructed from 7km of bamboo, 50t of stone and 26km of rope.

M Pavilion, Melbourne by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai. An exploration of traditional handmade architecture, it is constructed from 7km of bamboo, 50t of stone and 26km of rope. Image: John Gollings

19 of 20
M Pavilion. According to Jain, the opening at the centre of the roof connects earth to sky, with the well below symbolising the importance of water to place and community.

M Pavilion. According to Jain, the opening at the centre of the roof connects earth to sky, with the well below symbolising the importance of water to place and community. Image: John Gollings

20 of 20

The opportunity for a designer to create temporary, small-scale experimental architecture is one that is quite unique. A finely honed brief, a limited budget and a smaller scale all challenge the creator to produce an original structure that engages the senses and the imagination of the audience. Temporary architecture allows an architect to think outside the box, be a little playful and make the built environment accessible for the local community.

Often a mixture of art installation and architecture, transient structures are usually created for festivals, exhibitions and public events around the world. They could respond to a competition or be part of an innovative student project, or they could be created purely to liven up a museum or public space. These structures are often participatory and interactive, and the best encourage the community to explore and form their own opinion on the project.

ArchitectureNow has rounded up a list of 10 striking, thought-provoking temporary architectural projects. From a miniature wooden tower in Paris to a shingle-covered pavilion in an English forest, these structures are lessons in the possibilities of built form. They may be of a small scale, but they certainly create a large impact.

See the images below and slideshow above for temporary projects that were all created in 2016.

The Smile by Alison Brooks for the London Design Festival. An innovative and complex use of cross-laminated tulipwood, the 34-metre-long structure is an inhabitable “mega-tube”.
ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations in the National Building Museum, Washington. This ‘under water world’ installation offers a welcome escape from the hot summer weather. Image:  Timothy Schenck
Archifest 2016 Pavilion, Singapore by DP Architects. Composed entirely of construction site materials, this multi-coloured urban sculpture offers a place for respite from the busy CBD. Image:  Teo Zi Tong
Energy Pavilion, Museum Gardens, London by Five Line Projects. Constructed mainly from bamboo, it is a kinetic playground of moving objects that focuses on user engagement. Image:  courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly
Kapkar Sf.p7s by Studio Frank Havermans, the Netherlands. Designed and built to host events for a temporary Building Lab (BOUWLAB) that focuses on alternative ways of building. Image:  René de Wit
Perspectives by designer Giles Miller, Surrey, England. This shingle-covered structure is inscribed with various personal messages and is sited at the top of a natural vista.
Perception installation by architect Jan Šépka in the Czech Republic. An attempt to create conversation around how the public perceives landmarks and hidden spaces alike. Image:  Tomas Maly
Museum of Immortality II Pavilion by Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller for Design Week Mexico. The installation is based on Russian theories of cosmism and resurrection. Image:  Alberto Jurtega
Deci Pavilion by Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen in Paris. 10 octagonal drums have been stacked to build the wooden tower, which can fit only one person at a time. Image:  Pezo von Ellrichshausen
M Pavilion, Melbourne by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai. An exploration of traditional handmade architecture, it is constructed from 7km of bamboo, 50t of stone and 26km of rope. Image:  John Gollings

More review

Sacred spaces

Sacred spaces

Architecture and religion have been entwined since the beginning. Here, we take a look at ten contemporary faith spaces.
Domestic arrivals

Domestic arrivals

Writer John Walsh and photographer Patrick Reynolds talk about their latest book and the future of housing.
It's a London thing

It’s a London thing

A look at the London Design Festival, the London Design Biennale and Design Junction, which all took place in September.

Most read