F2 Pavilion

The F2 Pavilion was designed and fabricated by University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture’s graduate students under the direction of Andrew Kudless, Director of Matsys and the 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Critic at UTSA, and Kevin McClellan, Co-Director at TEX-FAB and lecturer at UTSA.

F² was fabricated and installed in Travis Park, a newly revitalized green space originally established as Travis Plaza in 1870. Located in the southeastern quadrant of the park adjacent to the historic St. Anthony Hotel, F² was a temporary installation in a rotating public art program in Travis Park.

F² is made from the simplest of materials: 1/2” x 2” wood assembled into a gridshell, covered in folded plastic panels that capture the light. Spanning more than 50’ with only 2” of material thickness, the installation is assembled with over 4800 linear feet of spruce bolted together using over 1000 nuts and bolts, 2600 washers and 760 CNC cut Coroplast folded panels.

Footings were water jet cut from 1/2’ steel plate and welded up and attached to 20 30” screw piles. The individual parts were fabricated over two weeks and then installed the work into its final form in 5 days by UTSA graduate students with the aid of 13 volunteers.

Conceived by 14 graduate students during the 2014 Spring semester, F² is a research project that began through formal studies exploring: minimal surfaces, inflatables, branching, cellular structures and catenaries that eventually evolved into the gridshell project and a realized full-scale prototype. David Shook of SOM San Francisco performed structural design support during the early research, while the Datum Engineers provided the engineering for the final design.

Project funding for the Travis Park installation of F² came from generous donations and specific entities within the City of San Antonio, specifically the Department for Creative and Cultural Development and the City Center Development Office. Client guidance and support came from Executive Director Felix Pardon, of the DCCD and Colleen Swain, Assistant Director at the CCDO.

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