Powerhouse Company complete a soaring canopy for the Paper Roof Reception Centre

Powerhouse Company complete a soaring canopy for the Paper Roof Reception Centre

26 Jan 2021 News

Powerhouse Company are known for their sensory rich approach to design, using conscious design choices to enhance the subconscious design experience. Their latest completed project is Paper Roof Reception Centre in Tianjin, China, which takes a fresh approach to tradition by playing with the form and function of traditional Chinese architecture.

Weiqi Jin

The reception centre was built to showcase a new city district being developed beside Jin Hai Lake in Bin Hai.  It comprises a sleek, two-story glass box structure situated under a dramatic canopy roof supported by slender pillar legs. The curved roof features upswept corners which are typical of traditional Chinese architecture and regarded as auspicious, in addition to having a functional component in deflecting rainwater.  Here, they are presented in an inherently contemporary form, creating a striking visual effect that is fresh yet familiar and symbolizing the energy of the emerging city which will come to rise around the centre.  

Weiqi Jin

Aesthetically, the concept was for the roof to be as simple as a piece of paper. It is slim profile, held up on elegant legs only 45cm thick.  The roof itself is 18.5 metres tall and 30x50 metres in area, extending 5 metres beyond the pavilion perimeter, encasing the airy glass structure in the protection of its post and beam design and anchoring it to the site. The roof beams are laid diagonally across the box below, creating a mesh-style covering reminiscent of a forest canopy and creating tree-like light and shade patterns across the pavilion and grounds.

Weiqi Jin

Despite appearing light and near weightless, the canopy is actually constructed from powder-coated steel.  The structure was welded together on site from prefabricated curved sections which are coloured the same blue as the sky, or the colour of heaven in a more traditional conception of infinite sky ceiling. Both the roof sections and portions of the glass façade of the pavilion were finished by hand to create highly polished surfaces. 

Weiqi Jin

The ground floor atrium level showcasing the public program is light and bright, with views to landscaped outdoor gardens and the surrounding lake. The upper level is a combination of private office areas and open viewing platforms. The concept is open plan, allowing flexibility for future usage to be adapted to new needs after the surrounding cityscape is completed.

Weiqi Jin

The juxtaposition of the apparently weightless roof structure over the sleek but functional box underneath creates an iconic and aspirational identity within which the new city can be anchored. The overall effect is of an open, welcoming space that fuses a contemporary and energetic design aesthetic with appropriate reverence to tradition, both symbolically and functionally.

Related Content
Latest News
Blanchette Architectes revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space
18 Aug 2022 News
Blanchette Architectes revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space

A well-known Montreal-based firm, Blanchette Architectes renovated an old factory building for an in... More

Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction
17 Aug 2022 News
Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction

Located in a typical Chinese village on the outskirts of Beijing, ‘Mixed house’ designed... More

Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility
17 Aug 2022 News
Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility

Located in the city of Antwerp in Belgium, Park + Ride designed by HUB is a large-scale public parki... More

Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions
17 Aug 2022 News
Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions

In Qinhuangdao, China, the Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab opened on the park green of SEATOPIA... More

ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being
16 Aug 2022 News
ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being

Located in the heart of Valencia in Spain, Clinica Alejandria designed by ERRE Arquitectura is a pla... More

Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism
16 Aug 2022 News
Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism

Situated in the Hollywood Hills at the edge of a steep promontory, the private residence Bellgave by... More

Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade
15 Aug 2022 News
Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade

In Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda, the Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-b... More

Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument
15 Aug 2022 News
Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument

In 2017 the iconic Bauhaus work ‘Bundesschule Bernau,’ built by Bauhaus director Hannes... More

Featured Products
Featured Projects