nARCHITECTS Forest Pavilion
This new circular gathering space emerges from the ground in a series of eleven green bamboo shading vaults, organized in two rings around a void. The plan is inspired by the rings of a tree, and the different form of the vaults by growth patterns in nature. In the same way that the infinite variety of shapes in a tree emerge from very simple branching rules, the configuration of vault shapes uses a single geometry, the parabolic arch, in a way that could in theory generate endless configurations.
Hualien County is the traditional territory of the aboriginal Taiwanese Amis tribe. Used for sugarcane cultivation under Japanese rule and eventually passing into the Taiwanese government’s hands, the Forestry Bureau faced criticism for not involving local inhabitants in the planning and development of the Eco Park. While there is broad support for preserving the forest, there are also plans for development by the provincial government, including the construction of a casino. In recognition of the cultural diversity of the region, the pavilion’s vaults, each one presenting a unique ‘gateway’ into the meeting space, sought to formalize this diversity and suggest an opportunity for unity in support of a greater environmental benefit.