Sailing Across Surfaces
America's Cup Pavilion
403 Research Studio Spring 2009
Instructor: Greg Lynn

The program of this project is a coastal building for the observation, broadcast, and administration of sailboat races, specifically for the America’s Cup Regatta. Like an Olympic or World’s Fair building, its use after the special event is to be for regional and national sailing regattas and as a venue for entertainment and dining. Formally, the studio celebrated high performance sailboats built of exotic lightweight materials and designed using state-of-the-art surface modeling software.

This building uses twisting, ridged surfaces to generate movement, enveloping the spectator in the spirit of sailing. A metallic surface creates outdoor rooms, providing shade and dramatic frames for viewing the races. The base of the surface undulates, touching the ground at points to invite visitors onto it. Inside the building, the swirling design continues, channeling visitors through columns to connect them between the retail and restaurant atrium below and the gallery bridge above. While circulating through the columns, visitors obtain oblique views of the sky and sea through slash cut windows and openings in the roof. I used the pleating at a smaller scale on the interior to make staircases that pull off the walls and to define interior volumes containing program, immersing the visitor in surface performance.

View from a boat on the water

View from the boardwalk

Site plan

View from the main entrance

View from the visitors' center

Ground floor plan

Top floor plan

Second floor plan


Study model of column surface