Atelier cnS designs swirling bamboo edifices at Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion

Designed in collaboration with South China University of Technology, the pavilions, titled Flower, Embrace, and Breeze, serve as a micro-renovation, lending new life to the urban park.

by Anmol AhujaPublished on : Nov 15, 2021

The rapid strides in Chinese architecture, particularly the exponential rise in both the scale and the quantum of what the Chinese have built, particularly in the last decade, is an interesting paradigm to explore. On one hand, state-of-the-art buildings with every modern innovation from energy efficiency to AI continue to pop up. On the other, the country, and seen through a larger window, the eastern part of the globe, continues to experiment with a material that possesses immense potential along with aesthetic value: bamboo. Despite a number of tests and tribulations that have proven otherwise, while it would take probably decades for bamboo to entirely replace conventional building materials, the use of bamboo architecture to define spaces of transience, of congregation, and their contribution in turn to urban edifices is undeniable. Having completed the Changqi Bamboo Corridor project and the Huanglong Waterfront Bamboo Corridor project with a similar approach, Guangzhou-based Atelier cnS has added three new structures to the Xianmo Flower Field Landscape Park with a vision to catalyse public interactions in an urban environment.

  • Bird’s eye view showcasing all three pavilions in Xianmo Flower Field Landscape Park | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Bird’s eye view showcasing all three pavilions in Xianmo Flower Field Landscape Park Image: Siming Wu
  • The Flower Pavilion’s form is characterised by its name, comprising inverted shells to mimic the shape | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The Flower Pavilion’s form is characterised by its name, comprising inverted shells to mimic the shape Image: Siming Wu
  • The pavilions utilise traditional bamboo weaving techniques in their construction | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The pavilions utilise traditional bamboo weaving techniques in their construction Image: Siming Wu
  • Dramatic overhangs enhance the experience of the pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Dramatic overhangs enhance the experience of the pavilion Image: Siming Wu

The design of the three pavilions seeks inspiration from the very material constituting their composition. The definition of the design of the three pavilions, in particular, is derivative of the excellent tensile and bending properties of bamboo itself, and the material’s property of singularly being capable of operating in all three dimensions. In other words, curved bamboo can naturally form a shaded, covered enclosure, thus justifying the material’s appeal in pavilion designs particularly. Furthermore, climatologically, bamboo structures have been proven to enhance ventilation and heat dissipation in subtropical climates. Atelier cnS thus describes their design of the bamboo pavilions to be a highly iterative one, working through various models of shell structures to arrive at the most appealing as well as the most structurally sensible solution.

  • The Embrace Pavilion features shells created along a central swirling spiral axis | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The Embrace Pavilion features shells created along a central swirling spiral axis Image: Siming Wu
  • The material’s tensile property of folding on itself to create a three dimensional enclosure inspired the architects to experiment with bamboo | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The material’s tensile property of folding on itself to create a three dimensional enclosure inspired the architects to experiment with bamboo Image: Siming Wu
  • The central transition space between the large and smaller folds at either end of the pavilion has been described as a “dramatic spatial twist” | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The central transition space between the large and smaller folds at either end of the pavilion has been described as a “dramatic spatial twist” Image: Siming Wu

While aiming to rejuvenate the site of the beautiful Xianmo Flower Field, located in the centre of Beijiao, the intervention also attempts to draw from what the site offers. While the primary MO of the pavilions emerged from a large expanse of the urban park being unshaded, leading to a majority of it falling to disuse for a good part of the day, Atelier cnS’ interventions enable people to actively occupy these spaces, while having an enhanced experience viewing the flowers of Xianmo in full bloom. “As an independent landscape structure, the bamboo pavilion provides a rich spatial experience and iconic image. It integrates with the surrounding environment and serves as a rest service for viewing flowers during the blooming season,” states the team at Atelier cnS through an official release.

  • The stage space formed beneath the larger fold is meant to provide an impetus for small shows, while the rear end serves as an avenue for viewing the waterfront | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The stage space formed beneath the larger fold is meant to provide an impetus for small shows, while the rear end serves as an avenue for viewing the waterfront Image: Siming Wu
  • The stage space formed beneath the larger fold is meant to provide an impetus for small shows, along with limited seating for people concentrically arranged | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The setup for Embrace pavilion also features concentrically arranged limited seating for people Image: Siming Wu

Structurally, the Flower and Embrace pavilions continue the same basic logic of combining “shell-like” shapes, based on the original designs of Changqi Bamboo Corridor and the Huanglong Waterfront Bamboo Corridor, also designed by cnS. A 'spiral' is used as the lofting control-line that creates the rhythm of the Flower Pavilion’s structure and bamboo weave, birthing a visually dynamic spatial hierarchy. Embrace Pavilion consists of two groups of inverted shells end to end to form a closed loop. Three-dimensional two-way curved surfaces are cantilevered on the structure to achieve a total span of 12m.

  • The Breeze Pavilion is constructed akin to an art installation in steel | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The Breeze Pavilion is constructed akin to an art installation in steel Image: Siming Wu
  • The pavilion also features windchimes as an additional element of interactivity for visitors | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    The pavilion also features windchimes as an additional element of interactivity for visitors Image: Siming Wu

Through a succinct shift in scale creating an undulating 'roof', a stage is created near the larger fold, and a waterfront viewing avenue forms beneath the smaller fold. The architects describe the transition between these two as a “dramatic spatial twist”. The spatial quality within is further enhanced through the filtering of sunlight through the semi-transparent roof, composed of palm tree bark, along with bamboo of course. Achieved through the impeccable application of traditional bamboo weaving skills, also an impetus for generating local employment, the combination of both bamboo and palm tree bark in the roof, known to enhance weather and rain resistance, has been hailed as a breakthrough in traditional bamboo constructions by cnS.

  • Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion: Site plan | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion: Site plan Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS
  • Animation showcasing the structural layers of the Embrace Pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Animation showcasing the structural layers of the Embrace Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS
  • Animation showcasing the structural layers of the Flower Pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Animation showcasing the structural layers of the Flower Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS

In addition to the two bamboo pavilions, the Breeze pavilion evolves as a nearly sculpturally constructed space in steel, almost like an art installation. The pavilion adopts a simple compositional logic, which uses an elliptical interface to rotate around its axis and form a channel space. ‘Breeze’ is inadvertently placed on a thoroughfare that must be crossed to access the flower field, and one can naturally feel the dynamic shifting of light and shadows while passing through it. An element of interactivity occurs in the form of windchimes installed in the pavilion, that visitors can toggle and play with, generating enchanting sounds to elevate a spatial experience into an aural one as well.

  • Sectional perspective of Embrace Pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Sectional perspective of Embrace Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS
  • Sectional perspective of Flower Pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Sectional perspective of Flower Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS
  • Animation showcasing the context analysis, response, and form development for both pavilions | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Animation showcasing the context analysis, response, and form development for both pavilions Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS
  • Animation showcasing sunlight analysis and sun path for Flower Pavilion | Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion | Atelier cnS | STIRworld
    Animation showcasing sunlight analysis and sun path for Flower Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Atelier cnS

Project Details

Name: Flower Field Bamboo Pavilion, Urban Park Micro Renovation
Location: Midea Street Beijiao Town,Shunde District, Foshan City
Architects: Atelier cnS, School of Architecture, South China University of Technology
Completion Year: 2021
Clients: Government of Beijiao Town, Foshan City
Gross Built Area: Flower Pavilion: 100 ㎡, Embrace Pavilion: 300 ㎡, Breeze Pavilion: 80㎡
Lead Architects: Guanqiu Zhong, Hairui Lin, Wenhao Zhang
Design team: Hairui Lin, Wenxuan Huang, Li Yang,  Longyuan Lu, Zhanchong Deng,  Hang Zhao
School of architecture, South China University of Technology:
Student team: Guanqiu Zhong (Lead Teacher), Wenhao Zhang, Wenchu Zhang, Yuhao Huang, Zhixian Tan, Xinyue Gu, Longyuan Lu

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