The Panda Pavilions by Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch

Panda Pavilions

Chengdu National Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center, the world’s leading research institute on panda preservation, has recently completed a significant campus expansion in a national preservation park near outskirts of Chengdu, China.

Designed by Ping Jiang, FAIA, of Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch, a group of four panda pavilions has been newly open to public after experiencing some delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These pavilions are built to become the research lab to house and study the pandas’ behaviors and activities. It also serves the community for educational and recreational purposes, while attracting millions of panda lovers annually to visit the campus.

The panda pavilions are devoted to foster a cross-disciplinary collaboration as a care center for the giant pandas. The design is organized around four open-air circular courtyards which serve as outdoor playground for the bears, while providing continuous connection with nature.

Aimed at educating, entertaining and inspiring a diverse audience from around China and across the world, the panda pavilions will bring a unique cultural experience that blends science, education, art and entertainment.

“While the project provides a pedestrian friendly navigation experience for the visitors, it prioritizes an animal-friendly environment to minimize the alienation of ecology, promoting biodiversity conservation,” says Ping Jiang, Design Principal.

Inspired by the natural landscape of Chengdu’s prairies, these panda pavilions are conceived as a fusion of architecture and landscape. The four ring-shaped pavilions nestle into park’s woodland slopes, enclosing terraced outdoor space for pandas.

Connecting pathways and bermed viewing galleries provide visitors with varied vantage points for observing pandas at relatively close range, but always with physical boundaries separating panda space and human space.

Rising above the topography in places and sinking into it in others, the pavilions’ rings house panda indoor activity spaces and living quarters, along with staff administrative areas and support spaces such as rooms for preserving and storing the bamboo shoots that are central to the panda diet.

In addition, the pavilions provide interactive exhibition and educational spaces designated for panda research and preservation. Integrating a habitat for the animals and a behavioral research lab for scientists, the panda pavilions are designed to create an immersive experience of exploration and discovery for the visitors.

These pavilions embrace their natural surroundings, integrating themselves with the topography of the conservation base. The pavilion facades feature vertical articulations of wood-grained aluminum fins, reflecting the vertical rhythms of surrounding bamboo grove.

These buildings are organized into three zones: open, semi-open and fully air-conditioned area. Approximate 55% percent of the building area adopted natural ventilation to lower the energy consumption and carbon footprint, as a result, it contributed to create a series of eco-friendly breathing architecture. Source by Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch.

  • Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • Architect: Atelier Ping Jiang I EID Arch
  • Design Principal: Ping Jiang
  • Design Team: Michelle Bao, Sean Lu, Shuang Zhang, Xiaoxu Sun, Yunpeng Ma, Chendi He
  • Collaborating Local Design Institute: Chengdu Architectural Design & Research Institute
  • Collaborating Master Planning Consultant: Shanghai Tianhua Planning Co., Ltd. / Chapman Taylor
  • Landscape Consultant: Chengdu Landscape Architecture Planning & Design Institute
  • Curtain Wall Consultant: KTOP HK/ Chengdu Architectural Design & Research Institute
  • Client: Chengdu Tianfu Greenway Construction Investment Co., Ltd., Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
  • Built Area: 12,809 Sq m
  • Year: 2022
  • Photographs: arch-exist photography, Kuratnik Nikolai, XIMUImage, Courtesy of Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch