A live project, the Playful Pavilion, designed by students from Montana State University and Oxford Brookes University to engage the public in examining spaces for sport. A response to the London Olympic and Paralympic games.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Bee's Knees as usual

Ping Pong Pavilion still open despite the small amount of destruction sustained recently. She's waiting patiently for her move to London and the Canning Town Industri[us] project.

LA Ping Pong

Robin Maddock's voyeuristic ping pong ball seen around LA. LA Ping Pong

Friday, 8 June 2012

Ratchet Strap Blue

A lot of time was spent during the build detailing on different scales. I thought it would be worth justifying that time spent by posting some nice images before the pavilion is trashed by the weather/vandals in its open position on the Brookes site. A lot of fun was had adapting the construction site material palette to different uses. The net for the table was made from debris net, tarpaulin and ratchet straps, held together with eyelets. The ball dispenser is a reappropriated scaffold pipe and joint, expertly cut by Joel. The floor was held together using a novel system of ratchet straps, both for ease of removal, and for aesthetic value. The same ratchets were mirrored on the upper plane of the pavilion, stretching the tarp through its double curvature. The table is bespoke, glued and shaped out of thick wood, to aid rotation of the game 'Around the World', to suggest this mode of play. The screens were each detailed to perform their own functions. One held the bell to sound the end of the game, another acts as a paddle rack. The pavilion was approached from a standpoint of structural honesty and inventive material adaptation and we hope that this is apparent through the details of the construction.

The net.
Ball dispenser. Re-appropriated fast clamp fitting.
In use. Notice the oxidation of the cut metal after a few days outside.
The table edge.

The table and auditori-edge.

Bare wood and blue.
Ratchet strap floor construction. Scaffold structure.

Corner condition.
The bell. Used in its second project.....

Sunday, 3 June 2012


The Pavilion has enjoyed it's first week of sunshine in a quiet summertime Brookes campus. It's got a few more weeks there, including a week of graduation ceremonies. But at the end of June it's moving to a new site in London, to be included as part of Fluid's Canning Town project 'Industri[us]'. It's on part of the Olympic Games walking route, and the main attraction is a festival of upcycling which runs from June till September. Expect a week of events to coincide with the second week of the LFA, including a Patriots Ping Pong game on Independence day, and an architect's competition on Saturday 7th July. More to follow!


The sound of high heels on loose boards graced our ears on opening night last week. It was busy as people came down from the exhibition upstairs to enjoy something a bit more fresh than the same old renders.... here's a small publication we gave out on the night to everyone who came along.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

MONDAY 28 MAY - Rundlauf
The Pavilion has found some belonging nestled in amongst trees at the library's eastern face. The blade-garage and ball-shoot remain full less a few broken, dented or dog-eaten balls. We arrived to a game, four around the table, and stayed there until the sun dimmed and the ping pong game had worked up an appetite in the players - could use a vending machine ?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Get ready to play ping pong on the playful pavilion! Friday at 5.30 we're cutting the tape and starting the first game outside Oxford Brookes at the Gipsy Lane Campus.

The opening is followed by the Oxford Brookes Architecture Exhibition for the 2011/2012 year which opens at 6pm just inside.

Come have a game of (Around The World, Around The Table, Rundlauf, Kings) before you see the work.

Love Bench Blues

Jack Case is worried about the prospects of his Love Bench being put together.
So Shaun found him another.

That rug really tied the room together

It's Wednesday evening, and in the last three days the whole pavilion has taken shape. We've moved to our cosy site, nestled in the trees, and the pavilion's been swarmed with bees. I think we took their patch and they're not best pleased. The bees aren't the only ones paying attention though, we had a bulgarian student TV crew nosing around, a bunch of architect external examiners scrutinising our ratchet floor detail in their break, and students asking whats going on. We officially open on Friday, and its starting to get exciting!  It started with a massive group effort to carry the whole floor structure from the workshop to our beloved patch of grass. 

Might help if you pulled upwards Tash?

Traffic was busy on the crossing.

We made it to the road, but took a wrong turning.

Two hours later we made it back, much to our amusement.

And set it down on Chris's dubious pallet foundations. With an inevitable snapping of wood.

We got it levelled pretty quick, and started laying down boards and getting the verticals in. Simultaneously we had the table being sanded down and the ping pong ball lights put together. The panel team have been getting on well, they've actually been going at it for days..... they've come out with bespoke panels for stacking the paddles, hanging the bell and a bar height hatch for leaning on. The poles were cut for the table structure, and the wood was put together for the seating.

The table is constructed from the same timber as the floor, with the angle in the table cutting against the floor planks and setting off the game. The planks were cut down to get a flush joint and they were biscuited together. Angles were cut in the ends to suggest rotation in the Around the Table version of the game we're encouraging. It rests on scaffolding legs, and is fixed to them using the same fixings as the panels.

Penn dubz wondering what to do.
flip it stick it glue it screw it

In situ.
The panels/screens are two sheets of 12mm ply glued and pinned to a 2x2 structure. The graphics team has a load of stencils cut for painting. The panels with their individual functions are interactive components within the pavilion. They'll store the bats, tell the user the rules of the game,  give you a chance to practice, offer glimpses and views of the game to the outsider and feature a big old brass bell to give a clang to the pings and the pongs.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Day 6

Ping pong paddles have begun their stealthy transformation...

Whoa! White connections!!!
Shaun and Shauntel - live designers
Construction continues... the beginnings of the roof frame

Taking measures to reinforce rigidity over the weekend

Day 5

With the timber sections cut it was time to get building the floor, obstructions on site caused some difficulty but we got there in the end! The floor planks were set down for preliminary testing with some nice detailing taking shape.

Thursday, 17 May 2012



So as it turns out Around the World ping pong, as we've been calling it, is known as Rundlauf in Germany. Its 'spiritual home'. Really you can use anything as a paddle in around the world ping pong. Here's a video showing some of the design process :

Whitey Hammeritey

Today we were painting the fast clamps with Smooth White Hammerite. First coat on today before the frame is going back up tomorrow. White standing out against the steel tubes, hopefully highlighting the fixings....


The build has started. Scaff frame is up and on its way! Steel handrail style fast clamp fittings have been specified and they're looking good. The poles arrived and the steel team got it up in no time! Construction continues....


The group started refining the winning designs at the start of this week.

Many visits to site later....