The Cloud Pavilion

Shanghai/ China

Size/ 150 m²
Commission/ 2015
Status/ Construction period May to July 2016
Client/ West Bund Development Corporation
Local architect/ Tongji Architectural Design Institute

In 2013, SHL were commissioned by West Bund to create a series of pavilions as part of the West Bund Biennale of Art & Architecture, curated by renowned Chinese architect Zhang Yonghe, and architecture Professor and curator Li Xiangning. Intended as a counterpoint to the heavy industrial cranes on the waterfront and as a place for contemplation and rest along the HuangPu River, the pavilion was designed to last for the 2 month duration of the Biennale. Due to the success of the pavilion it remained in place for over 2 years. In 2015, the West Bund commissioned SHL to redesign the pavilion as a permanent space for art and events. The project brief was to maintain the steel structure of the original pavilion, create a minimium of 100m² space for events and small exhibitions, provide a small kitchen with storage, and maintain the original notion from the Biennale pavilion of a 'cloud'.

At night the ceiling is illuminated against a reflective mirrored surface giving the illusion of an abstract floating cloud along the riverfront, and acts as a marker for citizens to meet and rest.

Chris Hardie, design partner quotes, "The new pavilion creates a singular space in the form of an extruded glass cloud. The cloud shape in plan directly relates to the cartoon like form associated with how a child would draw a cloud, and how clouds are often seen depicted in traditional Chinese prints. The cloud is considered a symbol of luck in ancient Chinese painting."

The Cloud Pavilion is just one of many projects currently being designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects along the Huang Pu River in Shanghai. The studio is working together with the Dream Center to develop a new 1800 seat Broadway Muscial Theatre, a 300 seat live music venue within a former industrial dome structure, and the convertion of a cement factory warehouse into a creative Art & Design Hub. In addition to this the studio are also working on the design of a new 25,000m² district Performance Arts Centre for the Xuhui district government, and the new Headquarters for the Shanghai Development Bank as part of the Green Valley development at the former Expo site.

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