The first ever Architecture Pavilion at the National Eisteddfod will be unveiled at this year’s event (from 4 – 11 August), in LLandow, Vale of Glamorgan.
The Pavilion was designed by Cardiff-based practice, Coombs Jones: Architects + Makers, following a design competition run by Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) and Design Circle.
The winning design, called ‘A Welsh Landscape’, drew its inspiration from key elements of the Welsh landscape, which were then developed in architectural form. It was built by Eco-Build Wales, who were supported by a range of local construction firms, individual supporters and other partners.
The Pavilion will be showcased at the National Eisteddfod in close proximity to Y Lle Celf, the visual arts centre on Y Maes this year. During the Eisteddfod it is hoped that thousands of visitors will visit the pavilion to enjoy the design and speak with architects about their work. The RSAW then plan to tour the project throughout Wales to help raise wider engagement with good quality design.
Steve Coombs, partner of CoombsJones Architects + Makers, said: “The pavilion aims to create an abstraction of a Welsh landscape and evoke the feelings of being in the wild areas of the Welsh countryside.
“Going beyond the boundaries of a simple pavilion, the proposal creates a wider territory for the visitor to experience. The experience of this landscape will be unlike anything elsewhere in the Eisteddfod Festival.
“This temporary and transitory festival, alternating between north and south Wales, brings together the essence of Welsh culture in an environment that says little about the Welsh landscape or the experience of living in the country. Instead, our pavilion is composed as a series of moments representing aspects of the Welsh landscape: hill, valley, forest, cave, and the man-made intervention within this environment.”
RSAW president, Andrew Sutton, said: “We spend the majority of our lives surrounded by the designed environment and it influences us like the weather. Our first architecture pavilion at this year’s Eisteddfod is both a reminder and an inspiration that good architecture can improve our world and enhance our lives.
“The judges were delighted with the design approach of Coombs Jones: Architects + Makers, considering it a gem which carries through the poetry of the design to the construction detail. Its timber construction surrounded by a grid of trees, is a beautiful interpretation of countryside around us. It will truly become part of the Welsh landscape.”
Robyn Tomos, National Eisteddfod for Wales, said: “The Architecture Pavilion will serve to further the festival’s aim of drawing the public’s attention to the importance of architecture in our nation's culture.
“We are delighted all partners have come together to help extend greater public awareness about good quality design.”
The Design Commission for Wales, supporters of the Gold Medal, Plaque of Merit and Architecture Scholarship, will host a reception on 6 August in partnership with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, to recognise the quality of design in Wales and to celebrate the winners of the 2012 Gold Medal, Plaque of Merit and Scholarship. This will be attended by John Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development.