Tag Archives: architect

WE Chronicle: Hermès Pavilion at BaselWorld 2013

Hermes Baselworld Pavilion_ Lounge

Curtain up at Baselworld 2013, and we see a perfect West-meets-East at the Hermès Pavilion designed by Toyo Ito. Interestingly to interpret its equestrian heritage, the Pritzker award-winning architect used a lot of natural wood colour and soft lighting to create a serene, welcoming space at the heart of the Baselworld Show.

Designed to be both ephemeral and permanent, the construction will be in place for the duration of the Show and can be dismantled, reassembled and thus rebuilt every year.Toyo Ito has imagined a two-storey “box” twice the size of last year’s pavilion. Its steel framework is clad with 624 wooden strips, some straight, some curved.These interlocking slats form an outer mesh, and this façade covers a second inner structure made of wood, glass and metal. Between these two “skins”, 167 plants form a corridor of greenery. For those who stroll alongside the pavilion, the mesh of wooden strips resembles an opaque wall. Those who stop to take a closer look will see the inner wall through the gaps.

Hermes Baselworld Pavilion_Atrium

A minimalist architect and a fashion house with rich culture – what draws the two together to bring this new look to the latter? Hermès’ artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Ito first met in late 2010 at the second Prix Émile Hermès event awarded by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.

An environmentally aware approach which emphasises the value of expertise is something the two of them share, and it is what brought them together for this project. Pierre-Alexis Dumas describes Toyo Ito as “a genuine enthusiast who possesses a natural and gentle authority; for him, silence is as meaningful as words.And his company, like Hermès, has remained small and adaptable.”

The Hermès pavilion is designed along the lines of traditional Japanese teahouses. Here, Toyo Ito’s architectural approach bridges the gaps between different eras and forms, and between heritage, popular style and experimentation.

Hermes Baselworld Pavilion_Entrance

Hermes Baselworld Pavilion_Facade

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