by Jerry ElengicalJan 08, 2022
Depicting a delicate balance between rawness and elegance, Taiwan-based Zuo Studio has woven a Bamboo Pavilion that curves majestically over a water body in Taichung. Located in Huludun Park’s fourth section and conceptualised for the Taichung World Flora Exposition last year, the pavilion encapsulates Taiwan’s essence through its architecture by enhancing human experience and its relationship with nature. Zuo Studio was commissioned to create the project by Taichung Real Estate Development Association through the Taichung government’s invitation. The picturesque pavilion spans 1,570 sqm and is the tallest bamboo building designed for the World Flora Exposition.
Previously called Formosa (which means 'beautiful island'), Taiwan is a petite landmass divided in half by the Central Mountain Range, which spurred the pavilion’s form. Resting peacefully beside the tranquil river, the bamboo pavilion is an extension of the landscape it is surrounded with. It employs bamboo that is native to Taiwan - an entirely natural and local material. Zuo Studio has also used local crafts and techniques for construction to offer a comprehensive experience of Taiwan to its visitors. The form draws heavily from Taiwan’s mountain range, as a structure surrounded by water, and as a seed sprouting forth from the ground.
Makino bamboo and Moso bamboo were combined with a light steel structure as the main skeleton, with the open space underneath as another prime element. Moso bamboo has been used for generations to build houses and household items in Taiwan, and thus the arched pavilion also stands as a symbol of Taiwanese culture. The Bamboo Pavilion has been wholly conceived with traditional, innovative and low carbon methods. The massive scale of the structure also displays the strength and potential of bamboo as a building material.
The space inside simulates an experience of a ‘walk through the forest’, with the brown bamboo trunks rising into the sky and filtering the daylight with its skilful patterns on the roof, similar to a forest canopy. The 9.2-metre wide, 30-metre long and 10-metre high pavilion emerges from the water and also employs local weaving techniques in the construction of its skin. The horticulture expo is spread across four areas along a river, and the massive Bamboo Pavilion sits at the entrance of the third area. It serves as a resting space, as well as a space for interaction within the expo. Once the expo is over, Zuo Studio will dismantle the bamboo pavilion and bring the site back to its earlier state.
We believe in the versatility and capabilities of bamboo, by creating a space that changes people’s perception of what a bamboo construction can be. A design that is modern in a sustainable way, environmentally and culturally. – Zuo Studio
320 bamboo plants were grown over three years to cultivate optimum structural response and prevent moisture in the main structure, along with 30,000 woven bamboo sheets. “The fence railing, furniture, lighting fixtures are all designed by local craftsmen,” says a note from the Studio.
Two types of weaving are employed to create the skin of the pavilion – longitudinal and omni-directional, influencing the structural behaviour. The lower one-third of the pavilion focuses on stability and permeability, while the middle section’s longitudinal weaving ties all the arches and tethers the main elements of lighting for the design. The remaining upper part uses omni-directional weaving, which provides cohesion to every individual arch and also acts as a sunshade, the canopy of the forest, throwing scattered natural light onto the pavilion floor.
“The succession of arches blends as one visual composition when seen from the front, but its shape varies as one walks along from the inside and outside, appearing as a four-dimensional public artwork,” shares the design team.
Bamboo Pavilion is a metaphor for architecture’s footprint, like a seed that has been spread and now grows, symbolising our dream and hope of future, offering a more habitable environment to our next generation. – Zuo Studio
Now, more than ever, is the time to enhance the relationship between humans and nature, which currently treads on thin ice, with architecture as the catalyst. Zuo Studio’s Bamboo Pavilion makes a vital and strong statement – that of making sustainable building material the main hero of construction, of displaying bamboo’s potential, and harmonising with nature.
Location: No.2, Fengzhou Rd., Fengyuan Dist., Taichung City 420, Taiwan
Area: 1570 sqm
Architect: ZUO STUDIO
Design team: Rex Chen, Alvaro Miñé Caloto, Amelie Chuang, Heidi Wong
Collaborator: FormGen Construction Ltd., Champion Construction Ltd.