Designed by UDG Atelier Alpha, the Panda Tower is a new cultural landmark for the giant panda Breeding’s new site. Integrating observation, exhibition, and sightseeing, the building serves as a piece of art that celebrates the union of nature and technology.
Learn parametric design and computational tools from the pioneers of the industry at the PAACADEMY:
The tower draws its inspiration from bamboo shoots. Bamboo shoots are not only the Giant Panda’s favorite meal, but they are also one of the most popular culinary items in Sichuan cuisine. They are widely distributed in the Sichuan-Chongqing area.
The 11-story-high structure of the tower contains large observation platforms facing the conservation park’s center at each level. The floor slabs and buttresses are completely exposed due to the lack of curtain walls and gratings.
The pedals of the Chengdu city flower, the hibiscus, exerted a strong influence to make up the floor slabs and arced structure units. The number of pedal slabs reduces arithmetically from the bottom of the tower to the top. The space displayed the elegance of mathematics as seen from the center courtyard.
The top of the Panda Tower’s curtain wall system features a mechanical system that opens the façade units according to programmed angles and speed. This system facilitates the workflow in exceptional situations such as the birth of new Giant Panda infants or the homecoming of Giant Pandas from oversea operations.
The façade’s aperture is reminiscent of a bamboo stalk growing. The contact with the tourists is eco-friendly and utilizes clean energy.
Panda Tower is entirely program-controlled. The constraints in the Grasshopper3D specification are used to connect all of the architectural parts. Geometric limitations define the space, mechanical constraints limit the structural components, and dynamics control the retractable device. This strict set of mathematical constraints is the project’s most essential design DNA and the foundation of the aesthetics of the resulting space.
© Photos by SIMON, and Arch-Exist