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Pulp Pavilion

Why a Building Made From Papier-Mâché Isn’t as Crazy as It Sounds

Fast Company Design, April 28, 2015

The Los Angeles studio Ball-Nogues is known for making architectural installations out of unlikely materials: glass beads, stainless steel orbs, and even T-shirts and coffee tables. Now it has moved on to paper pulp.

Several years ago, principals Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues started crafting lamps out of the gooey pulp, which they discovered to be surprisingly strong and malleable. The designers scaled up those experiments for this year’s Coachella, where they created Pulp Pavilion, a roughly 20-foot-high, 55-foot-long temporary structure made from recycled-paper pulp and rope. Raised on thick columns of orange latticework, the pavilion appears both sturdy and delicate, like a fragment of the Beijing Bird’s Nest stadium that was left to rust in the desert.

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Photograph by Joshua White