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An "Urchin Cloud" Comes To A Hotel In China

A “fuzzy” new architectural installation from BAM studio.
August 18, 2011, 7:17pm

Beijing-based architecture and urban design studio BAM has been actively producing adventurous and whimsical architectural works all over the world. The team’s core concept is to embed ideas of environmentalism into all types of work, driven by the slogan “Nature is an idea.” Their visionary rooftop park, Biornis-Aesthetope, for instance, incorporated ornithological research into the design for a rooftop in Lower Manhattan, turning it into the first artificial system to provide a habitat for birds in the city.

Digital rendering of Biornis-Aesthetope

Their latest project takes its cues from the natural world in a slightly different way. The massive Wintergarden indoor installation in Shen Yang, China is a site-specific installation for the atrium of a new hotel and shopping center. Citing the structural patterns in bio-luminescent underwater life as the source of inspiration, the designers constructed this giant “Urchin Cloud” using 3D modeling software. After studying the space for sun and shadow patterns and tracking the location and intensity of sunshine, as well as when it was taking place, the group designed this structure to optimize the space’s natural illumination. The result is, quite simply stunning. If you happen to be in China, check it out. It just opened this past May.

Images courtesy of BAM