Pinwheel Pavilion

Pinwheel Pavilion, Westby and Jones – Commissioned by Arup

In a team of six architects and builders, we were hired by Westby and Jones, as the contractors to build the Pinwheel Pavilion in the Arup Offices reception area. Construction was completed on the 10th of November 2016.

The Pinwheel Pavilion was designed by Five Line Projects Design and Research, the winner of the Architriumph Summer Pavilion Competition. Realisation of the project involved Five Line Projects as well as Arup and Westby and Jones. The design aims to engage the community and explore the potential energy a single action may trigger.

On the building side, however, this meant that we were to assemble over 120 steel bars with a series of pinwheels. Each of the 600 pinwheels was fabricated by CNC machined laminated bamboo. The pinwheels were attached offsite, then taken to Arup’s reception area to assemble and construct between (very heavy) floor and ceiling panels.



The above images show the Pinwheel Pavilion in its finished state. The idea is that the occupants engage with the structure by revolving the wheels, which are assembled such that the movement of one triggers the rotation of others along the pavilion.

The effect is further enhanced due to the sounds of the colliding bamboo petals as well as the visual effect of the reflective ceiling.

The images below show the construction process. A jig was fabricated to ensure that the pinwheels were placed at the correct heights and distances from each other as their positioning was crucial.