Students Build Pavilion for Spring Carnival

architecture / undergraduate research

After years of queries from classmates outside the school wondering why the School of Architecture and its students never build a booth for Spring Carnival, one of Carnegie Mellon's longest standing traditions, the AIAS Carnegie Mellon chapter decided to launch a project to develop the SoA Pavilion for this year’s Spring Carnival.

The SoA Pavilion grew out of AIAS Carnegie Mellon's Design Out of Studio Initiative, which encourages students to put their education into practice and use their design skills outside the context of studio. The goal of the project was to provide students with a supplement to their architectural education by putting the skills they have been taught to practical use through a real-world project.

Groundwork for the project first began at the end of last school year, and further developed through numerous meetings with Carnival personnel and organizations within the School. By fall semester of last year the project was approved, funding was secured, and the build was able to commence at the end of Spring Break.

Tasked with the function of providing seating and shade, the Pavilion featured the use of reclaimed doors inlaid with glow-in-the-dark resin and perforated plywood LED lights to offer the option of round-the-clock engagement and interaction. The project exposed students to all aspects of the design process including inception, design, planning, construction, and installation, as well as real-world issues of funding, post-usage, and value-engineering. The Pavilion also looked to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate students by bringing students from across years and programs together at all stages of the project.

As part of the post-usage plan for the Pavilion, the reclaimed doors will be made into tables which, along with the tables and benches used in the Pavilion, will be donated to families throughout Pittsburgh. Additional materials will be provided to AIAS members to help them complete future projects. Pavilion chairs Zain Islam-Hashmi, Michael Powell, and William Ulmer are excited to see how the Pavilion will change and adapt for next year, and look forward to seeing how the creativity and drive of the school's students will push the Pavilion farther in the coming years.

View the slideshow of the Pavilion's construction and installation below.