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Bug Dome

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The Bug Dome is realized on a wasteland of a ruined building site in-between the Shenzhen City Hall and an illegal workers camp. The design is inspired by insects. The bamboo construction methods are based on local knowledge from rural Guanxi brought into the city by the migrating construction workers.

The space was used during the SZHK Biennale for underground bands, poetry reading, discussions, karaoke and as a lounge for the illegal workers from the neighboring camp. The building offers a shade, a stage and a fireplace. After the Biennale the Bug Dome continued to work as an un-official social club for illegal workers from the Chinese countryside.

The building is weak, flexible and improvised to meet the site-specific conditions. It is growing from a ruin. What comes to architectural control, we must give up in order for the nature to step in and for the human nature as part of nature. Weak architecture is a mediator. The construction is a result of participatory planning between the designers, migrating construction workers and local knowledge brought into
the city.

The cocoon is a weak retreat for the modern man to escape from the strength of the exploding urbanism in the heart of Shenzhen. It is a shelter to protect the industrial insects from the elements of un-nature.

In large scale, if we learn to understand the connection what the hundreds of millions of hands that are now migrating from the rural China to the modern cities might bring along them, we might be able to ruin the industrial city. We might be able to make the city to be part of nature.

The design process was painful. We were all ripping the design to all three individual directions but in the end we gave up and the design became the boss and we learned to listen. Architecture gives the commands and architects listen.

"Let everything that has been planned come true.

Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy but just a friction between their souls and the outside world.

And most important: let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because: weakness is a great thing and strength is nothing."
- “Stalker”, Andrei Tarkovsky

Hsieh Ying-chun 謝英俊
Marco Casagrande 馬可•卡薩格蘭
Roan Ching-yueh 阮慶岳
Project Manager: Nikita Wu 巫祈麟
Location: Shenzhen, China
Site: 3000 m2 waste land, ruined building site
Building footprint: 120 m2
Materials: bamboo, wood, gravel, recycled concrete
Completed: 2009
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