A Small Bamboo Recess in the Forest

January 25, 2022



Catherine D. Ong

China-based design firm, Bansong Studio, has taken on a project the project reaches the end of the road between the two forests. Located in Huan Garden, Zhong Shan, there is a soil slope of over 1 meter high on the edge and a concave groove at the place where the slope is formed. Looking along the forest path, tall bamboos are in full view, appearing to have more depth by the mottled bamboo shadow in the daytime.

During the early stages of designing, the team discovered there are common features for the public bathroom. The goal was to make a communal restroom in an open architecture layout without any clear-cut boundary. Not abiding by conventional practice, the two starting points are subsequently planned with this concept in mind.

Within the groove, the concave groove within the base assists with water drainage. The groove helps elevate the architecture, making it low cost and feasible for quick construction. The light steel framework also helps to make the structure sturdier and more durable.

The female bathroom has a plane area of 4.8 x 1.2 meters, placed between the two groves of bamboo on the soil slope. The elevation is marked at 1.2 meters. Meanwhile, the plane unit of the male bathroom platform staggers with it, simultaneously lowering the height of one step. In addition, the platform of the male bathroom is extended to the right for the purpose of forming a passage leading to the female bathroom. By analogy, the front side of the male bathroom will be lowered to one platform, forming the passage into it.

The form of a single slope is selected when designing the roof, the three platforms are leveled, and the eave in front of the two passages is pressed down by controlling the net height of 2 meters between the pathway. It is under the sloped roof and the bathroom, in order to provide privacy upon fully opening the elevation.

So far, the three platforms are staggered and combined with the spacing of the bamboo forest. The tree platforms are lowered downward by getting close to the terrain and elevated from the concave groove. The surface of the house is at the downward trend along with the single slope, combining the terrain and the bamboo grove.

The wall body of the architecture is equipped with an abrasive polycarbonate panel, and the surface has a transparent corrugated plate. With a height of 2 meters, the wall body is treated separately from the roof, thereby guaranteeing ventilation while offering the high-window perspective of appreciating the bamboo view.

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At the back of the structure, the bamboo resembles a shield, with the view available at both sides and up from the roof. The depth of the bamboo forest is emphasized when looking from afar, so it is named “Small Bamboo Recess.” Looking Small Bamboo Recess afar, it takes a permeable shape, with a few walls stretching out of the roof to spread to the site, conforming to the two basic starting points of the architecture.

Photography by Lei Shen, Peigen Zhang and Zitian Weng
Descriptions by Bansong Studio

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