Submitted by WA Contents

MAT Office designed "big toy-like" flexible pavilion with forest-like pillars in Suzhou, China

China Architecture News - Aug 22, 2019 - 06:53   1794 views

MAT Office designed

Beijing-based architecture practice MAT Office built a pavilion by using and reorganizing the basic elements of traditional architecture through a contemporary, artistic design approach. 

The pavilion aims to trigger the possibility of rethinking the connection between "tradition and the future" in Taohuawu, Gusu District, Suzhou, China.

Called Beyond the Wind Pavilion, the 160-square-metre temporary pavilion was built for the 2018 Suzhou International Design Week which was held in Gusu district. MAT team was commissioned to design a pavilion for this event, as one of the most important public space in the design week. The pavilion undertakes information release, cultural salon and other public activities during the design week.

MAT Office designed

Along with the development of exposition and art exhibitions, pavilion as a building type begins mature. The pavilion is a temporary building designed for specific public functions, focusing on form-related space, as well as the experience of visitors. 

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

In general, the gravity-resistant structures off the ground is the main consideration of pavilion design, while its "temporary" features lead to the exploration of lighter materials and more flexible construction methods. The architects are inspired by the traditional Jiangnan residential settlements to build this pavilion. 

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

"These settlement has produced a very strong group form due to its continuous repetition of walls and rolling roofs, we hope to recreate this group form by manipulation of the roofs: four columns form a roof, the branches that grow on each pillar can form another roof with the other pillars," said the studio. 

"It is a free-growing settlement, with the continuous space defined by the forest-like pillars."

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

MAT Office evaluated the site conditions and its functional requirements, and they finally selected a six-petal plan layout for the pavilion. 

"We abstracted the traditional building roofs, regrouped them at different heights, in order to form a space called "Beyond the Wind" limited by 8 floating roofs and 18 steel pillars," the architects added.

"With such a free space, the pavilion is also like an amphitheatre, offering places for music, performances, salons and other social activities. Besides the main steel structure, a large number of lightweight materials are used in the pavilion in order to correspond its temporary and interactive characteristics."

MAT Office designed

The architects used translucent roofs made of stacking hexagonal polycarbonate pieces, while providing bright daylight, textures resulting from overlapping also associated with vernacular culture in Suzhou. 

MAT Office designed

For the the cafe area, they used colorful plastic curtain as the façade material, which also conveys the core value of equality and vitality of this design week. In addition, echoing design week’s main visual color, the pink elastic curtain at the entrance and interactive area provide fun places for adults and children.

MAT Office designed

Described not only a "big toy-like” cultural landmark, but also the pavilion is conceived as a carrier of various public events during the design week. 

MAT Office designed

"We take inspiration from the group form of traditional settlement, and recompose it in an artistic way, aiming to revive the surrounding historical area by implanting such a free space," explained the studio.

"When confronting old Town renewal project, we hope to maximize the impact of architectural design, bringing more people by the creation of new spatial scenes. We also hope to rethink the possibility of "new and old", "tradition and future" by the spatial narrative of design."

MAT Office designed

Among historical Suzhou garden pavilions, the most beautiful one is in the Master-of-Nets Garden, named after the Song People ShaoYong’s poem: "the moon to the sky eye, the wind to the water." 

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

2018 Suzhou International Design Week's pavilion, which is also hexagonal and waterfall, is named "Beyond the Wind". Through the design and thinking of this pavilion project, we are trying to have the question that, how much can contemporary design able to drive the humanistic spirit for this ancient city?

MAT Office designed

MAT Office designed

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

MAT Office designed

Image © Zhi Xia

MAT Office designed

Location plan

MAT Office designed

Axonometric drawing

MAT Office designed

Facade interaction modes

MAT Office designed

Model

MAT Office designed

Site plan

MAT Office designed

Structure generation diagram

MAT Office designed

Floor plan

MAT Office designed

Elevation

MAT Office designed

Elevation

MAT Office designed

Section

All images © Kangshuo Tang unless otherwise stated.

> via MAT Office