Regardless of the belief that anyone may have about the formation of planet Earth, there is no question that nature was conceived in a perfect way. And even the most extraordinary artists, like Da Vinci, could never create something as magnificent as a tiny portion of this infinite and complex wonder. But nature can always serve as an inspiration to human creations. In architecture, for example, there are examples of works that resemble nature or that seek to recreate their conditions artificially.
Al Noor Island
In Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, Austrian André Heller, together with state-owned developer Shurooq, has designed a masterplan for Al Noor Island. It is a park with two and a half hectares of land. The area is only accessible through a 100 meter long catwalk made of fiberglass and with aluminum balustrades.
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The idea of Heller was that this island harbored a varied range of functionalities. For this reason, a set of pavilions and theme buildings was added to its planning by 3deluxe. One of them is the Butterfly Pavilion, which has a polygonal structure with two hundred and thirty square meters, in glass; Organic zenith openings and a roof formed by an undulating spatial structure.
The Butterfly Aviary
Inside the Butterfly Pavilion, designers were able to create an artificial ecosystem. Between structural elements, artistic installations and tropical plants, about five hundred exotic butterflies, coming from Malaysia, fly freely, protected by this transparent, heated box. Those who visit the aviary will have a true multisensory experience. In addition to living species, one can enjoy the ambient soundtrack, the comfortable furniture and the decoration in repetitive floral graphic patterns.
Above the transparent structure, with a right foot that varies from three and a half to five and a half meters, there is an incredible and highly complex structure, composed of four thousand flowers in golden aluminum, in pieces of various sizes. The 3D surface was modeled with preformed elements made from a mineral material called a thermoformed krion. There are three docking sections, three pillars, nine support points and smart nodes connectors.
This beautiful exoskeleton, with cover and floral facade, has more than an aesthetic function, also serving as protection for the glass cube. The golden structure provides the internal shading. And it also helps to channel the hot air, proper of this arid desert region, out. This helps to regulate the climate inside the building, ensuring an atmosphere suitable for plants and butterflies.
Beijing’s Rose Museum
Next Architects designed the world’s first rose museum. It is located in Beijing, China, and housed the convention of the World Federation of Rose Societies in 2016. The property has two thousand species of flowers grown on a total of one hundred hectares of land. Only the museum building is three hundred meters wide and seventeen high. It makes reference to old cultural practices of the country and the tradition of walled courtyards.
The building of the Beijing’s Rose Museum follows a curvilinear shape and features a prominent main volume façade, made of smooth stainless steel with designs of Chinese roses subtracted from the surface. This allowed the creation of a semi-discovered patio between the perforated layer and the solid volume of the building, giving more privacy to the interior of the museum.
From the inside, when natural light passes through the cutouts, one can see the shadows of the projected roses, conveying a sense of movement through the building. At night, outside, the process is reversed and the floor surrounding the building is covered by beautiful floral patterns, creating an impressive visual contrast. This is a good example of the mix between history and tradition. The architectural model of the Rose Museum can also be seen in ancient dwellings, temples and palaces, and defines exactly the spatial boundary between the interior and exterior of the buildings.
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