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Serpentine Pavillion timber building

Pasquill, leading provider of roof trusses and floor joists has supported the design and build of the 2022 Serpentine Pavilion commission.

Each year, Serpentine opens its doors to some of the world’s greatest architects, enabling experimentation and freedom of expression through the construction of a temporary structure. This year, Theaster Gates, a Chicago-based artist with the support of Adjaye Associates, MiTek, AECom and Stage One, designed Black Chapel. To support the vision, which was fuelled by a need to “redeem spaces that have been left behind”, Pasquill provided its Posi-Joists in black to enhance the aesthetic.

This was a unique project for Pasquill as typically, Posi-Joists are used in floors in residential buildings. In the Serpentine Pavilion, they are being used to form the walls and will be an exposed feature.

Peter Hartley, Design Office Manager at Pasquill, said: “This was a very exciting and unique project for us to be a part of. We were contacted and asked to get involved in January of this year. One of the first things that was different about this project was the limited exposure to plans and drawings, which meant we had to ensure we were able to provide a quick turnaround upon seeing them, from specification to delivery.

“We provided our Posi-Joists, which tend to be used for floors. For this structure, they form the walls and are visible from the inside. Due to this we encountered challenges that we don’t tend to face. Firstly, the Posi-Joists are quite long in length, and secondly, the customer requested everything to be painted black.

“We had to ensure that all timber and connector plates were painted prior to the arrival onsite. This was a fantastic challenge and we’re thrilled to have supported the efforts to bring this spectacular structure.

“This is the first time we’ve had a request for painted Posi-Joist. Thanks to the relationship we’d built with Stage One, we arranged for all materials and components to be sent directly to them, so that they could take the lead on painting and staining to ensure the desired aesthetic. On completion, we retrieved the products and began to assemble.”

Each year, the Serpentine Pavilion is erected for three months during the Summer and then moved to another location in the UK. One of the key advantages of using Pasquill’s Posi-Joists, although an unusual product for this application, was the low embedded carbon and easy, efficient method of manufacturing; this set it apart from other, more typical wall supporting systems.

Bettina Korek, Chief Executive, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, said:

“We are honoured to undertake this remarkable project with leading visual artist Theaster Gates. One of the most significant voices working today, Gates’ praxis combines formalism, conceptualism and powerful impact felt throughout the communities in which he works and beyond. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Black Chapel as a platform for engagement, spirituality, and togetherness.”

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