The ZCB Bamboo Pavilion is an innovative public event space built in the summer of 2015 in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong. It is a long-span bending-active bamboo gridshell structure with a footprint of approximately 350m2 and a seating capacity of 200 people. It is used to host exhibitions, performances and events that promote low carbon living, construction, and development to the broader public and design community.
Bamboo is an environmentally friendly renewable natural resource that is regionally widely available. It is strong, light and easy to process and transport. In Hong Kong’s construction bamboo mostly appears in temporary scaffolding or festival structures. Globally it is usually applied as surrogate for wood or steel, rather than in ways that utilise the material’s unique bending properties and strength. In contrast, the ZCB Bamboo Pavilion maximise this latent material property.
The project is built from 473 large natural bamboo poles, bent onsite to shape the structure. They are hand-tied together with metal wire using techniques based on century-old traditional Cantonese bamboo scaffolding craftsmanship. The pavilion is a large diagrid shell structure that is folded down into three hollow columns. These columns rest on three circular concrete footings. A tailor-made white tensile fabric is stretched over the structure and is brightly lit from inside the three legs.
Building the project challenged the boundaries of the architect’s design control. Bamboo has widely varying geometric, dimensional, and performative properties, and the scaffolding industry does not use conventional architectural drawings for its intuitive constructions. To deal with these unpredictabilities, new methods were developed that merged precise digital design and simulation systems with inconsistent natural resources. Through the introduction of digital form-finding and real-time physics simulation tools, the project showcases how the endangered craftsmanship of Bamboo Scaffolding Construction in Hong Kong can evolve for the 21st century.
Project Client: Zero Carbon Building of the Construction Industry Council Project Location: 8 Sheung Yuet Rd, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
CUHK DESIGN RESEARCH TEAM:
Principal Investigator (PI): Prof. Kristof CROLLA Co-Investigator (Co-I): Mr. Adam FINGRUT Research Assistants (RA): Mr. IP Tsz Man Vincent and Mr. LAU Kin Keung Jason Consultants: Dr. Goman HO and Dr. Alfred FONG(Structural Engineering), Mr. Vinc MATH (Bamboo Consultant) Authorised Person (AP): Mr. Martin TAM Registered Structural Engineer (RSE): Mr. George CHUNG Project Documentation: Mr. NG Ka Hang Kevin (Photography and Videography), Grandy LUI and Michael LAW (Photography), Mr. Ramon VAN DER HEIJDEN (Drone Photography)
CIC/ZCB CLIENT PROJECT TEAM:
Executive Director, CIC: Dr. Christopher TO Publicity, ZCB: Ms Yan IP Technical Services, ZCB: Dr. Margaret KAM
CUHK DESIGN WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS:
Bamboo Design Workshop (9 to 20 June 2014, CUHK School of Architecture): CHAN Wai Kan Wilkin, Chi To Leung Mark, Chan On Ki, CHENG Man Lai Karen, DU Qiongwei Winnie, CHAN Hansen, HO Chun Sing Jason, WAI Hon Lam Joshua, TO Hon Yin Ernest, YAM Ka Kit Kevin, YIM Yu Ching Ben, HO Yuen Ling Elaine 1 to 4 Scale Prototype Construction Workshop (23 April to 4 May 2015, CUHK): Students from the CUHK School of Architecture: CHOI Lai Fei, IP Wan Chin Sharon, LA Chu Tung Jetson, NGAN Wing Sze Gillian, SO Ling Sum Evangeline, WONG Laipan Elpis, YUEN Suet Ying Circle. Participants from the CIC Sheung Shui Training Centre: Mr. TANG Sung Yuen, Mr. CHOW Kin Fai (Instructors), IP Wai Nok Calvin, AU Leong Kai Kong, YIP Ka Leong, CHAN Kai Mo, HUI Wai Kit, LAM Wai To (Trainees)
Main Contractor: W.M. Construction Ltd. Bamboo Construction: Sun Hip Scaffolding Eng. Co., Ltd. Fabric Contractor: Ladden Engineering Ltd. Lighting: CONA Technology Co. Ltd. and Brandston Partnership Inc.
NOTE: The CUHK project research was partially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region China (Project No. CUHK24400114)