November 23, 2011

Rollercoaster by Interval Architects

Chinese studio Interval Architects have completed a pavilion that snakes around a school square in Beijing like the tracks of a roller coaster.

The continuous timber belt folds up and down from the ground to create louvred walls and a roof, which are supported by a series of metal columns.

Where the chunky edges of the structure meet the ground they create benches and surround new patches of grass.

As well as providing a seating area for students, the pavilion can also be used as an outdoor exhibition area.

Some other timber pavilions we’ve published recently include one with a swimming pool inside and another for observing reindeer - see more stories about pavilions here.

Photography is by GU Yunduan.

The following text is from Interval Architects:

Situated in a tranquil environment of one of the best vocational schools in Beijing, the project aims at providing an iconic image to the institution as well as redefining the use of an existing public space on the central square of the campus.

Initially, the client wanted to put on the square a themed sculpture with a monumental effect and scale. A huge pedestal was even already built for the sculpture to put on. However the obvious problem of the square is actually a severe lack of effective public space that would allow students to gather and communicate. What the school really needs is not a monument in the center of the campus, but a humanistic and functional gathering space for students and an event space for school activities.

 Therefore, with the intention to create an efficient public space, we proposed a continuous self-folding belt structure that resembles the image of a “roller coaster”. The structure folds three-dimensionally to create a series of spaces such as open gardens, shaded pavilions and exhibition corridors. The entire belt bends around and in-between the existing trees on the site so they are well-preserved and maximally utilized for shading.

The rollercoaster-like structure presents a highly recognizable identity to the school as well as a fun image that was widely welcomed by the students.

Credits: Project Title: Rollercoaster

 Location: Beijing Huangzhuang Vocational School

Architect: Interval Architects
Project Architect: Oscar KO, GU Yunduan

Lighting Consultant: MIAO Hailin

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