“A gale has risen and is sweeping the clouds across the sky.” Inspired by this famous verse in an ancient Chinese poem, the design team has presented a “pavilion of swirling clouds” for the garden festival of BJFU.

Project name: Swirling Cloud: Bulletin Pavilion for BJFU Garden Festival
Architect’ Firm: SUP Atelier
Website: http://www.supatelier.com/cn
Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Lead Architects: Yehao Song, Xiaojuan Chen
DesignTeam: Jingfen Sun, Dan Xie,  Mengjia Liu, Yingnan Chu, Haowei Yu, Shaohang Shi
Project location: Beijing Forestry University
Completion Year:2018
Gross Built Area (square meters):  120㎡

Photo credits: (in ‘first name last name’ order) Su Chen, Chun FangYingnan Chu
Lighting Design: X Studio, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University
Bamboo Contractor: Anji Zhujing Bamboo Technology Co., Ltd
Clients: Beijing Forestry University

Swirling Cloud by SUP Atelier - Sheet4
© Su Chen, Chun Fang,Yingnan Chu

Covering an area of 120 square meters, the pavilion will serve as a hub for information during the festival, and turn into a place for recreation and gathering after the event. Bordering a campus road, the site of the pavilion is a central square surrounded by woods, bushes, memorial stone carvings and benches.

Swirling Cloud by SUP Atelier - Sheet6
© Su Chen, Chun Fang,Yingnan Chu

The design approach has taken full advantage of bamboo’s features, especially its malleability and bending resistance. Accordingly, a curved form was created for the pavilion, fitting into the campus’s context and the atmosphere of the garden festival

The positions of curved openings on the pavilion were determined by the flow of people and the distribution of trees, bushes and stones on the site, so that people can easily walk across the square through the pavilion.

The pavilion stretches over the bushes in a light and graceful way. The top of the pavilion narrowed into a round skylight, merging the building with wind, sunlight and green plants, while presenting an image of swirling clouds.

Swirling Cloud by SUP Atelier - Sheet7
© Su Chen, Chun Fang,Yingnan Chu

With the help of the long-standing processing techniques of natural bamboo, the size, shape, structural from and details were confirmed through close collaboration of the architects, structural engineers and bamboo contractors.

Modern building techniques, digital design technology and bamboo construction were integrated through pre-fabrication. Digitalization was applied throughout the whole building process from conceptual design to completion.

Building parts produced with the aid of digital technology enhanced the pavilion’s compliance to its load, as well as the feasibility of construction. For the detailed design, a certain level of error tolerance allows for on-site adjustment with bamboo splits and tiles, in which way the handicraft features of the pavilion can be observed.

Swirling Cloud by SUP Atelier - Sheet12
© Su Chen, Chun Fang,Yingnan Chu

The significance of the project is more than the creation of a bamboo “cloud”. Through close collaboration, the architects and the bamboo contractors have discovered a practical prototype that can adapt to various site conditions and functions thanks to the great flexibility of bamboo design.


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