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The Shanghai-based architecture studio lllab has designed a bamboo canopy and pavilions at the site of the Impression Sanjie Liu light show, held at night on the Li River in Yangshuo, China. The result is an airy and evanescent canopy that inspires the imagination, as well as a taste for travel.

In the heart of a magical environment, set between mountains and river in Yangshuo, China, stands an architectural installation that seems like something straight out of a dream. The canopy is 140 meters long and acts as a kind of giant parasol during the day, while lighting up as an illuminated object at night. The Chinese architecture studio lllab used woven bamboo to create a canopy and a cluster of pod-like pavilions to shelter visitors during a light show set among the spectacular limestone mountains of Guilin.

This architectural scenery was designed to accompany the light show directed by filmmaker Zhang Yimou and first staged in 2004. Zhang Yimou uses the river and the 12 surrounding mountains as a backdrop for a show of songs and special effects, inspired by the legend of the folk singer, Liu Sanjie.

Canopy, bamboo, pagoda

The island site used for the show already had an entrance pagoda at one end, and its main stage at the other. Here, lllab’s design aims to optimize the space between the entrance and the main stage. Since the site was already largely covered with bamboo groves, the architects developed a series of structures using bamboo as the primary building material to complement the natural setting.

An enchanted journey 

A series of woven bamboo lanterns line a path that guides visitors from the entrance to the interior of the site. The lanterns gradually increase in size, until they metamorphose into pavilions that visitors can enter. The structures are created using long bamboo rods, between 50 and 80 millimetres in diameter. These are then soaked in water and scorched to make them malleable and adjustable to the required shape.

During the day, the lanterns blend into the landscape, as their natural colouring complements their surroundings. At night, they are lit inside to light up the site, shining from within as the light filters through the woven shell.

This story was published via AFP Relaxnews.

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