Lengths of bamboo create the giant petals
of Penda's Blossom Gate

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This sculptural bamboo entrance designed for a Chinese flower garden was the first-ever project by architecture studio Penda, who this week unveiled a concept for a modular bamboo hotel (+ slideshow).

Blossom Gate by Penda

Penda founders Dayong Sun and Chris Precht won a design competition in 2013 with their Blossom Gate proposal, which is designed as the gateway to the largest myrtle flower garden in the city of Xiangyiang, Hubei Province.

Blossom Gate by Penda

The architects wanted the structure to do more than simply provide an entrance. They sought to reinvent the gate as an architectural landmark of its own, offering a gathering place for visitors.



"As a typology, the main function of a gate is a dividing one, separating the inside from the outside. On the other hand, a gate is also a connecting element, guiding people to a point where the inside and the outside get unified," said Sun and Precht in their accompanying statement.

Blossom Gate by Penda

The most striking feature of the design is the sweeping bamboo form, which was based on both the smooth lines of Chinese calligraphy and the petals of a blossoming myrtle flower.

Blossom Gate by Penda

Overlapping lengths of bamboo would create the outlines of the two large petal shapes, concealing a zigzagging internal framework.

Blossom Gate by Penda

The architects described their technique as "translating the beauty of a brushstroke into an architectural landmark".

Blossom Gate by Penda

"Some might see it as a symbol of a flower, others might interpret it as wings, a traditional Chinese mask or a heart," they said.

Blossom Gate by Penda

Staircases at the base of the structure would double up as seating areas, allowing the gate to be used for talks, performances or as a cinema. Penda also suggested hosting a Sunday market underneath.

Blossom Gate by Penda
Concept diagram - click for larger image

A reworked version of the Blossom Gate is currently under construction and is due for completion in the autumn.

Blossom Gate by Penda
Drawings - click for larger image