Smithsonian Pavilion

Washington USA - Summer 2009

Client: Coed Cymru

Architect: Design Research Unit Wales

Manufacturer & Main Contractor: Kenton Jones 

In 2009, the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Festival and Cultural Heritage invited Wales to be the subject of their open air festival. Situated on the National Mall, Washington DC the festival is an exposition of living cultural heritage lasting for two weeks every summer over the 4th of July national holiday and drawing more than one million visitors.

Based on the humble vernacular of Welsh rural domestic architecture, the project team proposed an exhibition building entitled ‘learning from the vernacular’.

The simple and predominantly open pitched pavilion was designed, prefabricated and preassembled in mid Wales over a 4 week period before being disassembled and transported to the Mall, Washington DC. The pavilion, which hosted the exhibition “Building with Timber in Wales” describing the timber industry and resource of Wales and its historical and contemporary relationship with the construction industry, was the focus of several key political and media events and received in the region of 100,000 visitors over the two week festival period.

Welsh timber source

Sitka spruce: Pontrilas Timber

Washington USA - Summer 2009

Client: Coed Cymru

Architect: Design Research Unit Wales

Manufacturer & Main Contractor: Kenton Jones