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In the bubble: An artist's impression of a temporary 'Covid-19 Pavilion' proposed for the Queenstown Gardens perimeter

By PHILIP CHANDLER

A Queenstown architect’s proposing a unique piece of temporary public art to mark Covid-19’s dramatic impact on the resort.

Phillip Tytler’s ‘Covid-19 Pavilion’ would be four-dimensional — the fourth dimension refers to it moving and changing shape in real time.

The membrane-covered structure’s similar to a geodesic dome, he says — ‘‘there is a pattern of linear struts between connectors’’.

Viruses share a very similar structural form, he adds.

As a possible location for a three-month period, Tyler’s suggesting a site on the ‘far end’ of the Queenstown Gardens peninsula walking track, by the lake.

‘‘It’s quite complex setting up even a temporary structure anywhere in the Gardens, but [the council] is willing to talk to me January sometime.’’

He admits it’s a windy spot but says structurally it’s very strong.

‘‘Also, I propose that it’s completely assembled and tested offsite in advance.’’

Tytler says he’d like the pavilion to feature local photographs taken during lockdown and related artistic works.

Wanting feedback: Covid pavilion architect Phillip Tytler

As an example, he points to Queenstowner Toni Caldwell’s black and white lockdown photos, which she’s published in a book.

Tytler, who has local family going back four generations, has been developing ‘‘architectural technology which moves in real time’’ for the past 20 years.

He was originally hoping this piece could be exhibited in the New Zealand stand at the famous Venice Architecture Biennale, in Italy, but that was cancelled this year due to Covid.

If he gains a ‘licence to occupy’, he’ll set up a small team, including artists, to take the project on.

He estimates it’ll cost $200,000, which he’d seek crowdfunding for.

‘‘A lot of investment would be my own time, and I’ll put money into it as well.’’

All going well, he’d hope to erect the pavilion in about a year’s time.

Meantime, he’s wanting to gauge public reaction — his email’s philliptytler@gmail.com

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