by Zohra KhanOct 12, 2020
Rooi Design and Research recently installed 410 sets of modular street furniture in the rural area of Fuqing, China. The studio has designed the furniture such that it can be flexibly combined into different forms, catering to the interpersonal relationships within the rural communities and bringing interactivity and fun to the forefront of the design. The hexagonal tables and rectangular chairs are built with recycled plywood pieces of standard market size, obtained from Pavilion S, the firm’s previous installation at the Shanghai International Furniture Fair in 2019.
Pavilion S, the previous avatar of the recycled street furniture, was designed to be an eco-friendly furniture showroom that could later be dismantled and repurposed, nullifying any potential waste produced or pollution. Rooi Design and Research had built this outdoor independent pavilion last year after being concerned by the recurring tendency of temporary showrooms to end up as waste after their use. The installation demonstrates the principles of circular economies, allowing the building material to take on many forms.
Plywood, a common material in furniture manufacturing, was used to build the structure due to its affordability and its capacity to be recycled. The design uses 821 pieces of plywood (1.22 x 1.22 metre) to construct the easily-assembled structure within 48 hours. The aesthetic design brings value in its affordability, ease of construction, minimised construction time, and recyclability.
The main structure consisted of a mixed wood and steel structure while the roof employed a hyperbolic arch-beam made of steel. The structure spanned clean and sleek spaces, without a column to interrupt the exhibition hall. The building façade utilised two different cubes within which window-like openings are used to showcase the furniture, offering visitors every possible view of the displayed piece. The porous facade permitted plenty of light within the building while a 1.22-metre deep window blocked direct sunlight from shining into the pavilion.
Pavilion S was more than just a furniture showroom - it welcomed tired visitors to relax and rest in between their furniture-hunt. Rooi Design and Research believes that complexity should be hidden in the design and technique of construction, leaving visitors only with a simplistic and understandable impression of sustainable design.
Rooi Design and Research was founded by in Cape Town in 2018 and has now offices in Beijing and Shenzhen as well.
Location: Shanghai New International Expo Center, Pudong District, Shanghai
Client: Side Furniture
Project type: Furniture showroom
Completion time: September 2019 (furniture showroom),June 2020 (furniturerecycle)
Design firm: RooiDesign and Research
Chief designer: Zuoqian Wang
Structural design: Song Wang
(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, intern at stirworld.com)