The Glass Pavilion

2017, 5x5x5m, recycled cast glass, reused timber and neon, SCAPE Public Art 2017 Season, Christchurch, New Zealand

For SCAPE Public Art 2017 Season Gregor Kregar created a site-responsive structure using handmade glass bricks, recycled wood and repurposed neon. This architectural folly offered a form of shelter, but was also open to the elements. It nodded through the repetition of the brick form to classic conceptual sculptures like Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII (which polarized audiences when first displayed at the Tate Gallery in 1972), but this was a more ebullient and playful gesture. The glass bricks shimmered and changed colour as light passed over and through them, the simple circular structure was topped with a seemingly haphazard nest-like timber ‘roof’.

As the sun faded, the sculpture transformed into an inviting beacon of light, a site for contemplation of impermanence and materiality. It was both a place for shared conversation and moments of individual contemplation. The structure was built from materials no longer required, or deemed to be of lesser value than newer versions. The work welcomed tactile and contextual associations of historical use; from the glass recycled to form the ‘tinder bricks’, to the salvaged timber, and the neon lights re-illuminated after their service to signage around the country. The work was seeking to acknowledge ways in which the fabric of the destroyed city has in some cases found a new purpose, and payed homage to the fortitude and resilience of Christchurch communities, while also encouraging us to pause to consider the new forms of architecture re-populating the built environment.