Title: “New Media” and the Obsolescence of Architecture: Exhibition Pavilions by Le Corbusier, Xenakis, Stockhausen, and E.A.T
Authors: Sterken, Sven # ×
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Series Title: Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture vol:3 issue:1-2 pages:127-142
Abstract: Exhibition pavilions have always
offered a fertile ground for architectural
experimentation. Aimed at a public eager to
be bewildered and amply financed by nations
or large enterprises competing for attention,
the temporary nature of such pavilions invites
for daring structural solutions, experimental
building materials, and innovative spatial
concepts. In the second half of the twentieth
century, the role of these structures had
shifted from a space of instruction and mass
education to a multisensory environment,
enhancing mental absorption and emotional
involvement, the goal being to make the underlying commercial, political or artistic message
pass more easily – sometimes even unnoticed. This
article discusses a couple of cases that are illustrative
for this evolution, namely the Philips Pavilion at the
Brussels World Fair in 1958 and the German and
Pepsi Pavilions at EXPO 70 in Osaka. What links these
projects is a tendency towards dematerialization, as
if the physical aspect of building forms an obstacle
in the realization of a fully immersive environment. In
this view, media technologies appear as a-tectonic
avatars, opposing “real” and “artificial” space as
mutually exclusive. However, the case of the Diatope, a
multimedia pavilion realized by Iannis Xenakis in 1978,
illustrates that, instead of maintaining this rupture,
architecture can also act as an interface between real
and artificial spaces, thus enabling their simultaneous
ISSN: 2041-9112
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Department of Architecture - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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