SS 2020 Burning Down the House
Alan von Arx, Hanna Elatifi.

Burning Down the Pavillon



For our design we decided to take one of the places we thought we would be seeing the most during the semester. We took the pavilion.

The wooden structure of the pavilion interested us as a starting point.

For our first burn we decided where to start the fire. We wanted to burn one specific place of the pavilion.


The pavilion is composed of a strong and strict wooden structure,

structurally there are only few elements made of other materials, the foundations and the “x-cross”.

In the model we made a metal “x-cross”. We wanted to see how it would react if we weakened the wood structure surrounding it. So, we chosed the span on the right of the cross.

We wrapped the wood with straw. We set fire to the straw. Few minutes after the start the fire was extinguished.

The result of the first burn was that we ended up with 2 pavilions.

Our plan to reconstruct the pavilion is to split clearly the pavilions into 2 buildings. Because we can’t use fire anymore, we want to take the current crisis to rethink our project. We want to take the theme of the confinement.

What is needed during such a period? As our structure is for the moment just a skeleton and there is nothing in it, neither pipe, nor furniture or walls. We decide to work with those elements to reconstruct the building.

Our first step is to use plumber pipes to reinforce the structure which was burnt. In a second step we would like to separate the pavilions in two. One side will be closed and be a tiny house with everything we could need for a confinement.

The other side will mexpress this strong open structure we have for the moment and will be used as an exterior.


Studio Alex Lehnerer, ETH

Project by: Alan von Arx, Hanna Elatifi