Nikolay Polissky’s SELPO Pavilion Is Covered In Thousands Of Wood Offcuts

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Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has transformed a dilapidated creating in the village of Zvizzhi into a pavilion covered in pieces of timber, which he described as “a sculpture you can walk via” .

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky Photograph by Sergey Norin

Zvizzhi is located inside of Russia’s Ugra National Park, close to 200 kilometres from Moscow. It is near to an artist neighborhood named Nikola-Lenivets, which Nikolay Polissky assisted to discovered and where he has lived given that 1989.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

Nikola-Lenivets contains 28 long term sculptures by major contemporary artists spread across 650 hectares of the park. It also runs artist residencies, website-specific artwork events and an annual architecture festival.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

Polissky produced the SELPO pavilion (a neighborhood acronym for The Rural Consumer Association in Russian) to produce a venue for occasions or exhibitions within a previously derelict creating that after housed the village store. A related undertaking in London noticed architects Carmody Groarke convert an abandoned canal-side petrol station into a temporary restaurant and events room.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

Offcuts from the artist’s previous projects are strung from a light steel framework attached to the current building’s concrete structure, which was 1st stabilised by reinforcing the walls and replacing the roof. The outcome is an artwork that can be occupied and employed for a variety of functions.


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“It is a sculpture – a large sculpture you can stroll by way of,” Polissky told Dezeen. “You can go inside all of my sculptures and even dwell in them, like Gavroche, [from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables] who lived inside a sculpture of an elephant.”

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

According to the artist, the project’s aim is to revive a constructing that has stood empty for more than 10 years, and to inspire its owners or the local community to locate a new use for it.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

“We hope that some day it does get its use back,” Polissky extra. “The sculpture acts as a catalyst to draw focus to itself in purchase for this to happen.”

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

The approach of building a suitable type for the pavilion started with a workshop conducted with architecture college students from London’s The Cass university. The students visited Nikola-Lenivets and came up with a variety of proposals from which the timber cladding technique was picked.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky Photograph by Sergey Bolotin

The wooden offcuts type an uneven surface all above the previously geometric volumes of the Soviet-type structure, with bulging shapes emerging from walls like the ramparts of a castle.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky Photograph by Kozhohin

“It was fascinating for me to see the type as it appeared,” claimed Polissky. “I anticipated to see a sort of eastern temple, echoing the intricate stone carvings you may well see in India. All our earlier functions are reflections on western architecture and I felt that we necessary some eastern attractiveness.”

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

Curving towers emerging from the roof are meant to recall stupas – mound-like structures constructed to residence the remains of Buddhist monks – and visitors are encouraged to climb them to appreciate views towards the village.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

The pavilion has presently hosted a concert and the intention is that it will continue to be utilised like a miniature museum right up until it is no longer essential.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky

In spite of the comprehensive transformation of the building from its prior dilapidated state, Polissky feels that more function is necessary to finish the task. “The leading element wants to be a whole lot far more extreme, we nonetheless require to total it,” he said. “At some point the sculpture will cover each inch of the constructing – we are replacing the concrete with wood.”

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky The dilapidated creating prior to construction

Photography is by Alexey Naroditskiy, unless stated otherwise.

Selpo pavilion at Nikola-Lenivets by Nikolay Polissky Nikolay Polissky’s sketch of the SELPO pavilion Dezeen

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