A Cardboard Pavilion for Shanghai

This digitally-designed cardboard pavilion has been exposed at the 3D paperArt exhibition in Shanghai. It is the work of the final project of the Master Advanced Study group at the Department of Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

  The pavilion features a design composed of variable truncated cones. While maintaining their individual diversity, the elements cooperate together to achieve common goals such as overall stability, shape, illumination, views and spatial quality.


The cones were manufactured using corrugated cardboard in 28 layers, each of which was cut, glued and labelled with a computer-controlled machine. Weatherproofing is provided by a shrink foil, a packing material like all the other that are constituting the pavilion.


For all steps, from design, production, logistics, packing in Zurich to shipping and assembly in Shanghai, the process was implemented and optimized by means of self-made computer programs. By intelligently nesting and packing the cones the amount of material used, the production time and the shipping volume were significantly reduced.


The experiment is intended to demonstrate how architects can use CAAD to customize a design process. It was possible on one side to overcome logistical and fabrication constraints with integrated solutions, and on the other side to exploit the potential of digital design on the aesthetical level.


project website: http://packed-pavilion.blogspot.com