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Forest Building

Forest Building

TAO | Trace Architecture Office
Beijing, China | View Map
Project Year
SU Shengliang

Forest Building

TAO | Trace Architecture Office as Architects

Located in Grand Canal Forest Park, Forest Building consists of a café, restaurant, reception, event spaces and exhibition spaces. The building is inspired by the form of trees. The tree naturally forms a roof-covered space under tree crown. When branches of trees connected, they create a continuous space under the trees.

The design starts from developing a structural unit, a column with four spreading cantilevered beams like a tree. With an array of the basic unit, the beams connect each other and form a structure pattern like a network. The building is based on a zigzagging grid plan, ensuring the standardization of unit, yet on section creating dynamic roof-scape with various heights of columns.

The building could extend flexibly with a free shape periphery to adapt to site conditions (existing trees, topography, views etc.), and to construction in phases. In this sense, the building is like a field, only defined by columns and roof, rather than fixed walls. The space is continuous and flexible, corresponding to the indeterminacy of program.

We chose glulam timber as the material of main structure, for its advantage on prefabrication and efficiency of installation, also for its materiality in order to achieve the space atmosphere of being in woods.

The timber structure is sitting on a floating concrete platform so as to be protected from moisture and erosion. The rain pipe is hidden inside the column. The mechanical installation runs underneath the concrete floor so that the ceiling is freed from equipment to express the pure structure and space.

The rammed earth wall is constructed with the soil excavated from site, functioning as a stabilizer of the interior humidity and temperature with its breathing and insulating quality. The soil and timber, as the main material of building, corresponds to the earth and trees at the site.

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