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Philips Pavilion

Pavilion in Brussels, Belgium / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Philips Pavilion was a World's Fair pavilion designed for Expo '58 in Brussels by the office of Le Corbusier. Commissioned by electronics manufacturer Philips, the pavilion was designed to house a multimedia spectacle that celebrated postwar technological progress. Because Le Corbusier was busy with the planning of Chandigarh, much of the project management was assigned to Iannis Xenakis, who was also an experimental composer and was influenced in the design by his composition Metastaseis.

Quick facts: Philips Pavilion, General information, Type, ...
Philips Pavilion
The pavilion at the time of the exhibition, July 1958.
General information
Town or cityBrussels
Technical details
MaterialReinforced concrete
Design and construction
Architect(s)Iannis Xenakis
Architecture firmLe Corbusier

The reinforced concrete pavilion is a cluster of nine hyperbolic paraboloids in which music, Edgard Varèse's Poème électronique, was spatialized by sound projectionists using telephone dials. The speakers were set into the walls, which were coated in asbestos, creating a textured look to the walls. Varèse drew up a detailed spatialization scheme for the entire piece which made great use of the physical layout of the pavilion, especially the height of it. The asbestos hardened the walls which created a cavernous acoustic. As audiences entered and exited the building Xenakis's musique concrète composition Concret PH was heard. The building was demolished on 30 January 1959.

The European Union funded a virtual recreation of the Philips Pavilion, which was chaired by Vincenzo Lombardi from the University of Turin.

Arseniusz Romanowicz's Warszawa Ochota train station in Poland is supposedly inspired by the Philips Pavilion.