Luminous lunar pavilion blends tradition with digital design (Video)


We've seen amazing examples of algorithmically-generated parametric design. Here's a temporary pavilion from Hong Kong which marries cutting-edge digital tools with traditional bamboo-based construction methods, with stunning results, and all built in less than a dozen days.


Created by Hong Kong and Antwerp based design firm LEAD (Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design), the Golden Moon pavilion's design is a gigantic version of a Chinese lantern, intended for a light and sound extravaganza that was organized for the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival held in Victoria Park. Check out the official video on this award-winning design:

Standing six storeys high, the structure consisted of a metal geodesic dome frame underneath, punctuated by bamboo stick and metal wire "flames" made of stretch fabric, the rhythm of which were algorithmically generated by computer. The bamboo construction pays homage to Hong Kong's traditional use of bamboo scaffolding in construction -- used from humble buildings to the island city's famous soaring skyscrapers.


This rapid, intuitive use of bamboo was synthesized with the precision of digital design to create a look where the fabric flames seem to form a flowing skin, accentuated by a LED light show programmed with "non-linear, non-repeating colour patterns from 'agents' or 'boids'" to mimick flocking birds.


EPC World describes in more detail how the construction process blends traditional with new methods of building, resulting in a more streamlined, materially-efficient approach:

Code was used for the production of simple drawings that would allow the labor force to mark up intersections between the steel structure and bamboo easily. These drawings took traditional bamboo scaffolding construction detailing into consideration in the definition of installation tolerances. Optimization scripts were finally used to reduce the amount of unique stretch-fabric ‘flames’ from 470 different units to 10 different types that could stretch and adapt to the various conditions in which they were applied.


Not only will the materials in the structure be reused, it stands as a beautiful example how traditional techniques can enhance computational design, without being superceded by it:

Preconceptions of building methods and familiar construction techniques had to be abandoned by all parties as both the digital and the material world demanded a new design and building set-up to be devised. This project shows an alternative way for digital design to be materialized into a more humane environment with real-world conditions like limited time frames, low budgets, minimal precision but human flexibility, creativity and ad-hoc inventiveness.

More over at LEAD and EPC World.

Tags: Architecture | Downloadable Design | Hong Kong


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