Colourful pavilion by The Very Many fronts Texas swimming pool building

By Bridget Cogley

New York design studio The Very Many, led by Marc Fornes, has designed a blue-and-yellow covering outside a leisure centre in El Paso, Texas.

The canopy, called Marquise, comprises hundreds of lightweight aluminium shingles that are cut to diamond-shaped panels and connected to leave small gaps in between.

Marquise by The Very Many

The panels are arranged to form a curved self-supported structure, with a striped pattern on the underside and a chequerboard effect on top.

Hints of orange and pink are visible in the deep crevices, creating an overall colour palette based on the Texan environment.

Marquise by The Very Many

“Playing off the fluctuations between warm and cool in the desert setting, the colouration saturates the palette of the surrounding landscape,” said a statement from The Very Many.

The design comprises 240 panels in shades of blue – “from a bright midday sky to a deep, clear dusk” – and 280 yellow pieces that also vary in tone.

Marquise by The Very Many

Marquise is positioned at the entrance to the Westside Natatorium indoor swimming pool in El Paso, providing a canopy that shields from both sun and rain. It is anchored by a pair of concrete bases so that it doesn’t blow away, and which double as seats.

Marquise by The Very Many

“A marquise is historically classified as a curvilinear steel and glass awning, attached to buildings or freestanding,” said the studio.

“Seemingly inflated by the wind, as a tent or sail, the ultra-thin surface billows up from the ground, where it forms two contiguous seats: cast in place concrete elements that inherit the compound curvature of the faceted but flowing surface.”

Marquise by The Very Many

Fornes is renown for designing pavilions with similar shingles. In 2015, he created an outdoor installation for a French school with similar aluminium plates and coloured green and blue.

This is his second installation in Texas – the first was a spine-like, arched pavilion in San Antonio with a bright green colourway.

Photography is by Naaro.

Project credits:

Engineer: LaufsED
Architect of Westside Natatorium: In Situ Architecture

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