Tardis Pavillion

A temporary structure for exhibitions & events




Woking, UK


Co Govers and Joana Ramalhete


52 m2

Tardis pavilion is a temporary extension of a museum in Woking, England. It is used as a gallery but sometimes also as a space for receptions or lectures. Being used only in Summer, it can be completely dismantled and stored in Winter. The concept is inspired by the time machine Tardis, which appears small on theoutside but turns out to be very big. Our pavilion presents a mysterious closed façade of pleated zinc to the entrance, but on the river side is completely open.

Technical Data

Name: Tardis Pavillion

Location: Woking, UK

Client: Competition

Surface area: 52 m²

Project design: 2010

Architects: Co Govers and Joana Ramalhete  (ZEST Architecture)

Images: Marco Podestá

Graphic documentation: ZEST Architecture

The Tardis pavilion is a summer time extension of the Lightbox Museum in Woking, UK. It stands in the museum garden, in front of the entrance, overlooking the canal. It serves mostly as a gallery, but sometimes it doubles as space for lectures or receptions.


The challenge was to design an elegant structure that could be dismantled and stored until the next year. Our concept was inspired by the Tardis, a time machine that appears small on the outside but enormous on the inside. Similarly, our pavilion presents a rather closed, mysterious façade upon entrance to the Lightbox Museum grounds, whilst on the other side it is completely open. The effect of open space is suddenly overwhelming, when entering the pavilion.


The frequent changes in use, today a gallery and tomorrow a lecture space, mean that the pavilion appears quite different every time you visit it – almost as if you’ve travelled in a time machine. The Tardis facade and roof are clad in elegant pleats of zinc that recall a textile fabric. The canal side is transparent, with sheets of lexan in wooden frames that may be opened.


At the end of summer, the pavilion can be dismantled effortlessly. And when the pavilion days of Tardis are finally over at the end of its life, fittingly for a time machine, she can be entirely recycled, cradle to cradle.