Dartmoor Arts Pavilion 2013

Jerry Tate Architects, Exeter, Devon, 2013


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Temporary pavilion structure created as a welcome and reception space for the Dartmoor Arts Week as well as a travelling exhibition structure

A central part of the summer schools’ ‘Spatial Structures’ course, the pavilion was completed in only six days as a collaborative exercise between students, Jerry Tate Architects and carpenters Henry Russell and Charley Brentnall.

Rising from the curved base platform are 10 crescent shaped ribs, equally spaced to form a shell like pavilion. These timber poles are tethered by nylon cords, which come to a final resting point anchored into the ground. The team worked together to build student confidence and construct an innovative structure.

The locally sourced larch wood pavilion is erected using two main components; the raised deck and ribbed roof. Firstly, the compact wedge shaped sections of the deck are laid into position, and then the bow shaped poles are constructed to form a roof which can fold out using a two-way hinged mechanism.

The collaboratively designed structure can be assembled in less than 5 minutes by 2 people and transportable in a small trailer, resulting in a reception space that can be used as an exhibition structure for travelling art shows and events. A canvas cover will be pulled over the ribs to weatherproof the building in future years.

The innovative design for the moving mechanism in the structure was developed through a series of maquettes made at a variety of scales to discover the optimum deployment system. All design decisions were taken through a democratic process.

Two public deployments of this theatrical structure were carried out at the end of the Arts Week, and Two public deployments of this theatrical structure were carried out at the end of the Arts Week, and the course overall gave the students a great insight into the design and build process.


  • Begun: Jul 2013
  • Completed: Aug 2013
  • Floor area: 15m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £500
  • Funding: Dartmoor Arts Week is funded by Arts Council
  • Tender date: Jul 2013
  • Address: Dartmoor Arts, Veet Mill Farm, Crockernwell, Exeter, Devon, EX6 6NL, United Kingdom

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