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Blossom Pavilion in Shanghai features steel "rocks" and a rooftop flowerbed ‒ Monitor
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Blossom Pavilion in Shanghai features steel "rocks" and a rooftop flowerbed

Shanghai studio Atelier Deshaus has teamed up with artist Zhan Wang to create a flower-topped pavilion supported by irregularly shaped slabs of stainless steel (+ slideshow).

Designed for Shanghai's Urban Space Art Season, Blossom Pavilion stands outside the entrance to the Shanghai Sculpture Space, which is part of the city's Red Town arts complex.

The starting point for the project was the stainless steel sculptures of Zhan Wang's Rockery Series, which the artist has been working on since 1995.

Atelier Deshaus reinterpreted these forms as structural elements, aiming to create a pavilion modelled on a rock garden. Six slender rock-shaped columns support a solid steel roof, which is topped by plants and flowers.

"We tried to cut the rockery sculpture into pieces to form the spatial order," the architects told Dezeen.

"And with the adoption of the cast stainless steel, the pavilion demonstrates the quality of reflecting the surroundings into the interior space."

The reflective columns are arranged randomly, rather than at the most structurally efficient points, to reinforce the idea of a rockery.

Atelier Deshaus worked closely with the artist to give the pavilion's columns the same texturised effect as his sculptures.

Wang creates indentations in his metal sculptures by laying thin sheets of steel on natural surfaces such as stone or earth. He then carefully imprints the texture onto the steel by beating it with a padded hammer.

"The artist chose the stone-textured steel as the facade of the slices," said the architects. "A space divided by a 'sliced rockery' is the main picture in mind."

The roof above the columns is made up of steel plates in varying thicknesses. On top, a manmade landscape is intended to mimic the natural topography of the surrounding garden.

Chambers within the steel grid create planting areas for flowers and plants, while ensuring natural drainage.

Atelier Deshaus is led by architects Liu Yichun and Chen Yifeng. Among the studio's most high-profile projects is the Long Museum West Bund – a contemporary art gallery in Shanghai built around an industrial structure.