The new Hermès pavilion of Baselworld in Baselworld is a vivid interpretation of the concept shared by the architects Toyo Ito and Hermès: universal philosophy.
Hermès uses a light construction structure and open space to create a friendly and peaceful place in the Basel International Watch Exhibition. Toyo Ito’s design celebrates the foundation of the brand’s value: meticulous handcrafting, dedication to pure handicrafts, admiration for the noble temperament contained in natural materials such as wood, control of time, and its perfect precision and breakthrough innovation spirit.
Lush nomadic space
The entire pavilion is designed to be detachable and can be reassembled and used every year. In this way, although the exhibition time is short, it can also impress every visitor and maintain its long-lasting use function. Toyo Ito designed it as a double-deck space with a length of 34 meters and a width of 19 meters. Its area is 1,040 square meters, which is twice the size of last year. The steel frame structure of the exhibition hall is covered by 624 planks, some are straight and some are curved. They criss-cross, forming a network structure on the outside of the exhibition hall. This layer of mesh exterior wall encloses another layer of internal structure that integrates wood, metal and glass. Between these two layers of ‘skin’, a green corridor composed of 167 flowers and plants was designed. To visitors outside the museum, the wooden wall looks like a rigorous exterior wall. If you stop to take a closer look, you can also find the interior wall of the exhibition hall in its gap.
The exterior of the pavilion is full of undulating motion, conveying its organic design concept to the world, as if the breeze is blowing, with infinite ripples. The outer wall of the pavilion constructed from wooden boards looks like a long skirt that hangs on the ground, and the wide wave skirt full of vitality is also quite swaying.
The entrance of the pavilion is located at the corner, and the whole pavilion is like the bow of a ship facing the wind and waves. Entering from the porch, a truly peaceful habitat comes into view, and at the end of the exhibition hall are more private spaces, such as the office area, display area and sales area. A metal-wood staircase leads to the mezzanine floor. Natural dyed fabrics that symbolize Hermes style are used to decorate trees or other exhibition spaces, giving them warm and comfortable colors.
Finally, the glass windows scattered around and inside the exhibition hall showcase the latest Hermès watch series. Like gorgeous blooming flowers, Hermes watches continue the sense of harmony in metal construction in this organic design style.
A perfect encounter
At the end of 2010, at the second Émile Hermès Design Awards set up by the Hermès Enterprise Foundation, Hermès artistic directors Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Ito Toyo Ito meets for the first time. Both masters respect the environment and respect traditional craftsmanship. This transcendent tacit understanding has led the two to work together to complete this construction project. Pierre-Alix Duma described Toyo Ito as ‘a precise, prudent and sensitive person, profound and passionate, with a low-key and natural authority; his silence is as important as words And, like hermes, his firm has a humane scale. ‘
The Hermes Pavilion is also part of the tradition of the Japanese Tea Art Pavilion. The architecture that Toyo Ito showed here fills the gap between different times and forms, and finds a meeting point in heritage, locality and experiment.