The metal enclosure expresses the diversity of the material and its usage in structural, creative and aesthetic terms. Traditional Arabic ornamentation played a role in the architects’ parametric design strategy that led to the shape and layout of the roof, which provides shade. The highly complex Butterfly Pavilion free-form roof consists of a loadbearing 3D frame with more than 4,000 golden aluminium leaves in different sizes – skilfully realised by façade specialist seele. With just 200mm members, the supporting structure is remarkably delicate – there are just nine support points and three columns.
Impressed by the complexity of this design, the jury of the 16 WAN Award commented on the project as follows: “For a metal award, it’s very clever. When you get down to the interlocking of the fixings and filigree of these pieces, it’s amazing. A delicate, sweeping form echoes the characteristics of the inhabitants of this pavilion. The quality of the overall shape carries through to the detailing and finish of its elements, making this a worthy winner.”
seele used the skills at its disposal to realise the golden roof faithful to the original plans and even to optimise the design. This could be achieved because the team at seele developed a system in which the 4,060 different petals were reduced to 50 different types.