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Tolerance Pavilion Competition, Moscow, Russia 2015

Ci-Ça Pavilion is not a symbol for tolerance ̶ rather it enables tolerance. Ci-Ça provides a framework by which individuals can interact with others in the public space of Moscow’s Red Square. Ci-ça (French for this:that) is the origin of the English word seesaw. The Pavilion aligns 44 seesaws along a curvilinear spine. Any individual must find a partner in the public space, to sit at a distance and balance with him or her. Their relationship will work without words and perhaps only by gestures and expressions. Seesawing with a stranger will create a sense of respect and collaboration, a sense of similarity and of difference.

Form: Like the seesaw, the overall volume balances at its center, communicating, at the large scale, the notion of balance and equality.

Material: The steel frame is clad with two types of mirrored tile. On the under-bellies, smooth mirrors reflect the movement of the people on the seesaws and in the square. On the vertical surfaces, faceted tiles (derived from one of St. Basil’s onion domes) distort the reflection of the surroundings and break it up into fragments. In this way the Ci-Ça Pavilion reminds that images are shallow: what you see is not necessarily what you get.

Program: The galleries and auditorium are located in the upper volume through which the public can pass to reach the roof deck, which overlooks the Red Square and the Kremlin beyond. Beneath the seesaws, in continually fluttering light generated by the movement above, the Tolerance café, workshops, meeting rooms, conference room and reception are located.

Structure:16 steel trusses of varied profile connect to form a double cantilever resting on the base podium and connected through the central three bays. The base podium is temporarily screwed into the ground using 2.5m groundscrews at each footing.