The showroom, designed for real estate giant Vanke and located close to the new Guangzhou South Railway Station, functions as a standalone temporary structure which features enclosed modules clad in either glass or anodized aluminim panels. It supports roofs shaped like inverted umbrellas made of aluminum panels and slatted screens that filter sunlight.
“What is interesting about this project is that the modular construction means that when you put it up again in a different site it can form a different configuration,” said Li Hu, founding partner at Open Architecture.
The hexagonal cells are organized around central pillars which funnel rainwater into a storage tank which helps irrigate the surrounding landscape and refill a small pond. Minimal interventions to the site were required for the building to be erected. Bamboo plywood was used in the interior.
The architects were inspired by the proliferation of temporary architecture and early prefab buildings pioneered by Le Corbusier and Jean Prouve. One of the most important features the designers wanted to replicate was the absence of any glue or welding required to assemble the structure. According to the team, the system is highly replicable and could be used to build offices, schools, shops and other single story structures.
Photos by Zhang Chao