Zuo Studio creates a majestic riverside Bamboo Pavilion in Taichung, Taiwan

As part of the Taichung World Flora Exposition, Zuo Studio constructs a pavilion with 30,000 bamboo sheets, underlining Taiwan’s essence and sustainable architecture.

by Jincy Iype Published on : Apr 27, 2020

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.

Bamboo Pavilion by Zuo Studio, created for the Taichung World Flora Exposition last year | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
Bamboo Pavilion by Zuo Studio, created for the Taichung World Flora Exposition Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio

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. 

The form of the Bamboo pavilion is inspired from the Central Mountain Range that cuts through Taiwan | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
The form of the Bamboo pavilion is inspired from the Central Mountain Range that cuts through Taiwan Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio

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.

  • Makino bamboo and Moso bamboo were combined with a light steel structure as the main skeleton | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    Makino bamboo and Moso bamboo were combined with a light steel structure as the main skeleton Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio
  • The arched pavilion has been conceived with traditional and low carbon methods | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    The arched pavilion has been conceived in traditional and low carbon methods Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio

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.

The space inside the pavilion provides an experience akin to a ‘walk through the forest’ | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
The space inside the pavilion provides an experience akin to a ‘walk through the forest’ Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio
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.

The bamboo sheets are woven in longitudinal and omni-directional methods across the pavilion | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
The bamboo sheets are woven in longitudinal and omni-directional methods across the pavilion Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo 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. 

  • Bamboo Pavilion’s construction process | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    The construction process of Bamboo Pavilion Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio
  • The pavilion was designed and constructed over 18 months | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    The pavilion was designed and constructed over 18 months Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio

“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.

  • Bamboo as a building material shows tremendous potential, as seen from Zuo Studio’s Bamboo Pavilion | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    Bamboo as a building material shows tremendous potential, as seen from Zuo Studio’s Bamboo Pavilion Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio
  • Bamboo Pavilion by Taiwan based Zuo Studio | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    Bamboo Pavilion by Taiwan based Zuo Studio Image Credit: Shih Hong, Yang, Courtesy of Shashin Photo Studio
  • Bamboo Pavilion – construction detail | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    Bamboo Pavilion – construction detail Image Credit: Alvaro Miñé Caloto and Amelie Chuang, Courtesy of Zuo Studio
  • Construction detail | Zuo Studio creates the Bamboo Pavilion for Taichung World Flora Exposition | STIRworld
    Construction detail Image Credit: Alvaro Miñé Caloto and Amelie Chuang, Courtesy of Zuo Studio

Project Details

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.

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About Author

Jincy Iype

Jincy Iype

Iype is a trained architect, who often indulges in writing and amateur photography. She was a cinephile and a melophile even before she knew what those words meant. She is inclined towards architecture journalism, and can usually be found curled up reading a book, or cooking for therapeutic relief.

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