Meranti pavilion is created for the expo of the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando, Florida. It uses local Malaysian hardwood called ‘meranti’ and is designed to showcase the beauty and versatility of the material. Commissioned by Malaysian Timber Council, the pavilion forms part of the organization’s initiative to promote use of the local wood sourced from sustainable forests as building material.
The design brief calls for a structure that is easily assembled and dismantled to facilitate the re-use of the timber pavilion in other locations all over the world. As such, the pavilion is designed based on the concept of modularity. Each module is approximately 600mm wide by 700mm high x 165mm deep, making it small enough to be handled by one person and allowing ease of assembly and transporting to other locations. There are 232 identical modules in total and they will be stacked, slotted and then screwed together to form a simple rectangular pavilion of 6 m by 6 m by 3.4 m high.
The Meranti Pavilion is lattice-like, with a repeating motif of overlapping squares and protruding rectangular sections in a three-dimensional arrangement. The geometrical pattern of meranti wood in their natural colour of rich reddish brown refers to the warm feel and intricacy of local traditional woodwork. There are no vertical columns or beams to hold up pavilion, instead the modular elements work together in locked system to provide stability to the overall structure. The corners are held together by special butterfly metal angles which links the pavilion walls by the pointed corners of each module.