In a nod to Buckminster Fuller's design philosophy of "maximum gain with minimal input," the wooden supports for this lightweight canopy are recycled from a village renovation project.
What common ground might design visionary Buckminster Fuller and a quiet village in rural China share? There is more there than one might initially think, thanks to this gorgeous geodesic canopy created by LUO Studio for Luotuowan village in Hebei province, using timber recycled from a village-wide renovation project.
According to Dezeen, many of the residents chose to replace leaking, timber-supported roofs with a concrete roof instead -- resulting in a surplus of wooden beams that could potentially be reused elsewhere.
This bounty of wood was perfect for constructing the new pergola, and so the original plan to truck in and use steel struts was scrapped in favour of reusing the wood in a minimalist way. The geodesic framework is a respectful nod toward Buckminster Fuller and adapts his design philosophies about "maximum gain of advantage from minimal energy input," explain the designers:
The design philosophy of 'dymaxion' actually resonates with the concept of rural construction. Many Chinese villages present a unique built landscape, which was created by generations of villagers who had the wisdom to make use of local materials and maximize functions with minimal input.
Using the materials to build a self-supporting geodesic form that is light, yet maximizes coverage, the walkway is now sheltered from the sun, but also free of any supporting columns that block the space. The wooden struts are pieced together with custom-made metal hardware, in addition to tensioning cables. Durable polycarbonate panels have been inserted in between to temper the strong sunlight.
At night, the serpent-like structure is lit, providing a luminous contrast to the mountainous landscape beyond. Best of all, by reusing the timbers, the project was simplified enough that the villagers could do most of the construction themselves, saving time and money for more village renewal projects in the future.
To see more, visit LUO Studio.