The Cloud Village is structurally made possible by the robotic printing technology developed by Philip F. Yuan and his team. Read below for a detailed account of the project from the architects.
Project description from the architects. Cloud Village reflects the contemporary reality of Chinese countryside through its semiotic performance of materiality. The recycled plastic material of the pavilion indicates the crisis of the environmental issue of contemporary Chinese countryside and establishes a critical rethinking on the sustainable way of spatial production for the future.
Response to the theme of the Chinese
The pavilion aims to combine structural performance-based design methodology with robotic fabrication technology in a highly integrated process. The form of the pavilion is optimized by adopting a series of topological optimization algorithm to enhance the overall structural performance. By turning the flat roof into the waved geometry, the structural stiffness of the cantilever roofs is highly increased.
The robotic fabrication logic has been incorporated into the formation process. Then the continuous geometry of the pavilion is pixelated into a series of discrete components, each of which contains a unique crystalized printing tool-path. And as the stress on the overall form would be distributed into the pixels of the grid system, the entire network has to be modified into 5 types of different densities according to different structural performance along the surface.
The pavilion is constructed by prefabricated production. The main part is divided into 50 different printing components at the early stage of the design according to the internal stress distribution in the structure. The prefabricated components, including the seat and base, are all packed and transported to the biennial
Based on the support of digital design and robotic construction technology, the Cloud Village demonstrates the full integration of structural performance analysis technology with the designed form and establishes a new model of production in building industry.
Project Name: Cloud Village
Principal Architect: Philip F. Yuan
Structural Engineer: Mike Xie
Design: Tongji University / Shanghai
Digital Fabrication: Fab-Union
Projection Area: 110 m2
Material: Modified Plastic, Steel Plate, High Strength Cable Ties
Design Stage: 2017.08 – 2018.01
Construction Stage: 2018.01 – 2018.05
Design Team: Chao Yan, Zheng Zhang, Xiang Wang (Design); Jin Wang, Wei Shen, Qiang Zhou (Structure)
Digital Fabrication: Wen Zhang, Lim Zhang, Zhewen Chen, Chenjun Liu, Sizhong He, Shilong Dai
Post-production: Zhe Guo