Architects: Clavel Arquitectos – Manuel Clavel Rojo
Location: Shenzhen, China
Collaborators: Ricardo Carcelén González, Diego Victoria García, Robin Harloff, Rafael de Giles González, David Hernández Conesa
Client: 2011 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture
Completion: December 2011
Total area: 150 sqm
Photographs: Cristóbal Palma
¿How much does your building weight?, asked Buckminster Fuller and now again curator Terence Riley asks to the six international teams invited to the Ultra Lightweight Village project.
Apart from the obvious answer we could conclude that any structure avoiding the effects of the gravity would weight nothing. So, can we make gravity disappear? Not, but we could compensate it.
In a world where we charge our mobile phones wireless and we send information through the air, why should not dream about a not so far future in which our buildings are sustained by other forces, leaving gravity in a second line.
Centrifugal Village is based in that concept. Three circles of waterproof light fabric of 7.8, 6.4 and 5.4 meter of diameter spin around their axis at only 1,5 turns per second. In the biggest one we can reach a cantilever of nearly 4 meters with an only 2 mm roof thickness. It is interesting to check how similar is the movement with the aquatic animal one. Thanks to the rotation the gravity apparently disappears and only aerodynamical forces shape the fabric. The soft waves produced on the surface create a smooth breeze that improves the thermical conditions behind during the hot and sunny days.
The pavilion creates a specific place for children in the huge square. Children can experiment with the centrifugal forces, generate electricity to open the structures and activate the lighting. The faster the children chairs rotate the more light the structure receives.
What happens later?
Children chairs and their surrounding soft floor will be installed in other parts of the city, extending the life of the plays after the biennale. Electric materials will be used for industrial purposes. The red and gold fabric will be recycled in bags.
All the photos taken by Cristóbal Palma