Current was built in the vibrant harbour town of Fredericia, in response to the hospitality crisis faced by society today. The concrete pavilion, constructed during EASA Denmark, is composed of gradient spaces that serve as protection from and celebration of Fredericia’s continuous rainfall. Porous and non-porous modules result in highly contrasting volumes which flow seamlessly into one another, controlling the passage of water. The dynamic structure provides grounds for recreation, encourages users to strip away formalities, and ultimately, offers a hospitable social environment.
Current was designed and built by young architects Lucia Calleja and Katrina Gauci in collaboration with and sponsored by multinational building materials company CEMEX in the vibrant harbour of Fredericia, Denmark. The project was executed over a period of three-weeks, during EASA (European Architecture Student Assembly), by a team of over twenty participants from all over the world, and guided by a team from CEMEX.
The pavilion lies in Fredericia’s new district, where several routes converge and connect the urban area to the waterfront. Current is composed of gradient spaces that serve as a celebration of Fredericia’s continuous rainfall, an element that has become a part of the inhabitants’ everyday life. The pavilion is a space where one can find refuge from the rain. Still, water does not only flow away from the structure but through it, enabling its visitors to watch and listen, and engaging their senses from a sheltered space.
The dynamic structure provides grounds for recreation, encourages users to strip away formalities, and ultimately provides a hospitable social environment. This is in line with this year’s theme, “Hospitality. Finding the framework.” which resonates with the history of Fredericia and the challenges the city now faces. This also links to the current political climate in Europe and the world.
The structure is composed of eight, 2.5 metre-high concrete modules, each weighing a massive 1.5 tonnes. The modules are made of two different types of concrete produced by CEMEX. Pervia is a porous concrete that allows water to permeate; it can be engineered to absorb, release or retain water on demand. Resilia is fiber-reinforced concrete with hyper-strength and ductility. The combined materials create a series of enclosed spaces that control the passage of water, serving as shelter from and highlighting Fredericia’s constant rainfall.
The complex moulds were an integral part of the formwork, and were provided by Maltese fabrication company Dfab studio. These were carved from expanded polystyrene blocks using Dfab’s KR210 Kuka robot, and would eventually form the smooth curves that characterise the structure. Throughout the event, the tutors and participants worked together with the team from CEMEX Global R&D to assemble the formwork, prepare, mix and pour the concrete. This gave the students the opportunity to work closely with experts and expose themselves to highly innovative concrete technologies.
“The opportunity to work with young professionals and students was stimulating, because it created opportunities to discover creative design solutions stimulated by the range of possibilities associated to material performances, and specifically the possibilities given by the novel concrete technologies recently developed by the CEMEX Global R&D Group” explains Davide Zampini, CEMEX Global R&D and Intellectual Property Head.
The Current pavilion now serves as a permanent space for the local community and visitors of Fredericia to interact and socialise, while also offering a unique way of experiencing the rainy season.