Micro Renovation of Urban Park by Atelier cnS + School of Architecture, South China University of Technology
Name of the Project: Urban Park Micro Renovation
Architectural Firm: Atelier cnS, South China University of Technology (School of Architecture)
Project Location: Foshan, China
Project Area: 480 sq.m
Project Year: 2021
Head Architects: Guanqiu Zhong, Wenhao Zhang, Hairui Lin
Head Designers’ Team: Gang Song, Zhiyuan Zhu, Guanqiu Zhong
Designing Team: Li Yang, Longyuan Lu, Zhanchong Deng, Hairui Lin, Hang Zhao, and Wenxuan Huang
Lead Teacher: Guanqiu Zhong
Student Team: Wenhao Zhang, Zhixian Tan, Xinyue Gu, Longyuan LuWenchu Zhang, Yuhao Huang,
Client: Government of Beijiao Town, Foshan City
By enhancing the use of the public area, Atelier cnS in collaboration with the School of Architecture at the South China University of Technology have finished the refurbishment of a park in an urban setting with shell-like bamboo structures.
The 480 sq.m project, dubbed Urban Park Micro Renovation, is situated in the heart of Beijiao, Xianmo Flower Field, Foshan, China, and stimulates the area with various bamboo-structured pavilions.
The architects drew inspiration from bamboo’s outstanding tensile and twisting characteristics, as well as the curved bamboo. Bamboo has the ability to organically construct a three-dimensional enclosure of the area, providing shade and shadows.
This project was a continuation of the Waterfront Bamboo Corridor development of Huanglong by cnS that began in June 2019 by cnS. The studio was contacted by the Beijiao Town Government in September 2020 to improvise the ambience of the current urban park. As a solution to which, the design team proposed two installations in Xianmo Flower Field Landscape Park.
The iterations of the bamboo pavilion range from 1.0 to 4.0 in the logic for form and its construction details.
Taking the advantage of in-built properties of bamboo, curved bamboo was used to form an enclosure that serves with shade and shadows. As a result of this, ‘grey space’ would emerge which apart from providing shade from the harsh sun and climatic conditions like rain, would also improve the natural ventilation and heat dispersion in such a subtropical environment.
The team proposed a ‘Shell-shaped’ fundamental model on the basis of this concept. It was further reproduced in an array of four shell-shapes in 1.0 edition to offer a shaded area.
For version 2.0, the design team built a sheltered space between the village’s square and river in the Huanglong Waterfront Corridor. It was constructed by deformation of 5 shell-shapes in two different directions and rejoining them. It served as a multi-functional space with an essence of the square and as a rest space between the viewing deck for the river.
Version 3.0 and 4.0
Versions 3.0 and 4.0 explore different possibilities for space utilization by enhancing the use of shell-like shape modules. These versions of Flower Pavillion adopt the Pavilion in Xianmo Flower Field. As a control line in order to form the rhythm of Flower Pavilion, spiral lines were utilized. It even resulted in a dynamic spatial hierarchy.
The Xianmo Flower Field, situated in the centre of Beijiao, is a public park with a floral motif. The flowering time gets a stunning view of this urban park as a large number of seasonal flowers are planted here throughout the year.
This beautiful park had its own flaws with no area for guests to relax and sit, owing to the lack of shading structures. This problem resulted in an exceptionally low usage rate of the park and would only receive visitors in the evenings. Considering the seriousness of the issue, the major goal of the design was to boost the park’s satiability, prolonging the usage duration, and raising the utilization rate.
By erecting two sets of bamboo-structured landscape pavilion modules, the team intended to offer inhabitants a safe haven. At the same time, the pavilions could host community events while also enhancing the viewing experience and providing a view of the waterfront. As a result, they’d become landscape landmarks with many purposes.
The bamboo pavilion, as a standalone spatial structure, delivers a rich sense of space and memorable image. On the other hand, it blends in with the site surroundings and acts as a rest stop for those who want to enjoy the blossoming flower season.
The Embrace Pavilion is constructed of two reverse-shell-shaped groups that are knitted together end-to-end to build a complete loop. These three-dimensional surfaces that are curved both ways, are cantilevers on the framework to reach a span of 12m.
A large-size stage area and a small-scale shoreline viewing area are produced as a result of the shape’s varying scale, creating a dramatic structural twist at the transition point between the two.
“The bamboo structure material continues the construction logic of the whole series, adopting a curved cantilevered bamboo to form a shell-like shape, which is combined with traditional bamboo weaving skills, and the roof cladding is woven with bamboo strips which are covered with the Palm Tree Bark”, stated the team.
“Because the roof is translucent, the light and shadow under the roof show the beauty of the bamboo structure. The application of Palm Tree Bark, which is inspired by the straw rain cape coat, is a major breakthrough in the structure of the bamboo pavilion”, they further added.
Based on previous bamboo pavilion construction expertise, designers chose palm tree bark as the bamboo pavilion’s skin, an environmentally friendly material with good weather resistance and ease of access. The bamboo pavilion’s weather resilience is further enhanced by the addition of palm tree bark. The palm roof, which is constructed up of similar modules, has a similar rhythm to the typical tile roof.
This project serves as a perfect example of how public spaces can be uplifted by the introduction of structures that follow the rhythm of the site context. Utilizing the local materials and techniques, the structures fit perfectly in its home with a list of social benefits for the local community. This revitalized public park serves as a great community area that interprets a story of its design and locality, blending well with its setting.
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