Artbatfest is an international festival of contemporary public art partnered by the British Council, the 2015 edition of which occupied a number of previously empty venues across the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. We were invited to create a central focus for the initiative on a vacant, wooded plot in the city centre.


At first we experimented with a space made up of different parts but, with dialogue as a guiding theme for the festival, we eventually brought these elements together to make a steel-framed, painted plywood pavilion which could be inhabited in a huge variety of different ways.


Almaty is thought to be the place where apples originated and, despite being completely open, the pavilion has the effect of a sheltering apple tree, its cutwork soffits dappling the light below. Around seventy-five thousand people visited Artpoint during the three-month festival, working, playing and performing in the curtained platform areas protected by the pavilion.


The pavilion attracted 75,000 visitors over three months in the summer, hosting a wide programme of cultural events.


We worked closely with the contractor through drawings sketches and prototypes to develop and refine the details. The pavilion was constructed and installed in two weeks.


The technical design was developed through prototyping and lots of drawings.


The concept was for a series of interlocking pavilions with shaded by three dimensional motif which hinted at Alamty’s horticultural past.