donn holohan and his team have designed a bamboo pavilion, located in fujian province, that revives the use of traditional chinese bamboo weaving techniques to create architectural forms for community use. identifying bamboo as an important cultural material, the team utilized digital design methods to integrate modern technology into an age-old tradition. ‘sun room’ is meant to function as a shelter for its visitors and a solace for villagers working the land during the hot growing season.

donn holohan sun room
‘sun room’ stands as a composite, woven, bamboo shell and connecting structural framework



the structure is loosely based on peitian village’s own ‘tea house’ construction concept, which have become increasingly infrequent with the increased accessibility of quick-and-easy brick and concrete materials. with this new form of building, a skilled craftsman is no longer needed to envision and construct the structure. this village, in particular, has been the focus of a hong kong university study regarding community reconstruction and development. over the course of the project, holohan, HKU students, and local members of the population studied the technique of bamboo weaving under the last remaining bamboo weaver in peitian. 

donn holohan sun room china
the placement and shape of the structure maximizes ventilation and views of surrounding environmental features



the design and method of construction emphasizes the importance of local community involvement. the team describes the project’s mission — ‘through this study, it came to be understood that aside from the pressing issue of village regeneration, there is an equally urgent crisis underway – in the decline of traditional crafts and trades and the significant loss of intangible cultural heritage that this represents.’ 

donn holohan sun room china
it functions as part of a hong kong university study regarding community reconstruction and development



‘sun room’ can take on a variety of functions —  as both a social meeting space or personal place of reflection 

donn holohan sun room
the design revives and reinterprets the local village’s  ‘tea house’ typology

donn holohan sun room
it provides shade and shelter for local people and agricultural workers 

donn holohan sun room
those involved in the project studied traditional bamboo weaving from the last surviving artisan in peitian

donn holohan sun room
the canopy proves shade from the sun, blanketing the surrounding, open fields

donn holohan sun room
the sun creates an interesting pattern on the internal structure

donn holohan sun room china
light enters the structure through its open top and surrounding bamboo weave

donn holohan sun room
the placement of the project on the site allows it to act as an overlook for the surrounding fields

donn holohan sun room
 the structure’s presence on the site is prominent, but also integrated into the landscape



project info:


date: march 2017 – may 2017
location: peitian village, fujian province, china
design: donn holohan / the university of hong kong
construction: peitian community craftsmen
funding: supported by the gallant ho experiential learning fund, HKU
project team: elspeth lee, jiang hejia (team leader) HKU architecture students
size: 20 sqm
cost: 70,000RMB

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