In Bamboo

Bamboo 3

The traditional bamboo-weaving culture of Daoming Town, Sichuan, has been honoured with the construction of a bamboo pavilion in the shape of a giant infinity loop.

Situated around 40 miles from the Chinese metropolis of Chengdu, In Bamboo is a rural project by Shanghai-based firm Archi-Union Architects, perhaps best known for its pioneering ‘Digital Tectonics’ method. In Daoming, bamboo weaving is an enduring way of life and Archi-Union was careful to design a building in keeping with the area’s cultural heritage.

Inspired by the Song dynasty poet Lu You, ‘In Bamboo’ is a multifunctional cultural centre with plans to host exhibitions, conferences and community events. The twisting construction is based on the infinity symbol and mathematically similar in design to the lemniscate of Booth. Depending on the season, the building curls around fields of wheat, rapeseed or winter vegetables, and its scalloped walls of handwoven bamboo swell beneath ceramic eaves.

The interweaving roof is an arrangement of multiple prefabricated parts that were delivered to the site, ready for quick assembly. It’s supported by a light prefabricated steel frame and finished with traditional ceramic tiles. Inside the building, two courtyards are outlined under the curves of the twisting roof while the existing garden has been preserved in its original state.

Despite its tricky geometry, the project was completed in just 52 days, thanks to this combination of traditional construction techniques and prefabricated industrialisation. Using a method of digitally prefabricated structural wood, the team was able to reduce waste while increasing building speed.

For Archi-Union, ‘In Bamboo’ serves as an example of how prefabrication could redefine and upgrade the production process of traditional rural construction. They said: ‘Design technology, architecture traditions and cultural context are the combined forces guiding our work. In the process of innovation, a respect for culture, a respect for people and a respect for nature can be present; this is what we want from the “In Bamboo” project.’

Click here for more details on the poetic construction.

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