The contribution of schmidt hammer lassen architects to the 2013 Shanghai West Bund Biennial for Architecture and Contemporary Art, China, consists of an art installation pavilion, The Cloud, and a composition of pavilions containing support facilities including a café, a gallery and a bookshop.
The pavilions are placed adjacent to one of two industrial cranes on the Xuhui West Bank Riverside. The tall crane stands as an icon that people all over the world can recognize and relate to and symbolizes balance, performance and gravity. The aim of the art installation pavilion, The Cloud, is to amplify and contrast these qualities.
By following the path along the riverside, visitors are led to The Cloud and can walk through it as part of their stroll through the biennial area.
A clear visual connection to the history and the industrial nature of the site is created by the support facility pavilions. These are clad in Corten steel. Their colour and texture underline the pavilions’ relation to the industrial heritage. The shape and orientation of the pavilions were determined by the views towards the nearby bridge, the crane and the river.
While The Cloud is intended for experience, interaction and activity, the support facility pavilions are for contemplation, rest and relaxation.
The Shanghai West Bund Biennial for Architecture and Contemporary Art is promoting Shanghai as a centre for architecture and fine art. Yung Ho Chang (Zhang Yonghe), former head of the Department of Architecture at MIT and one of China’s most respected architects, is the overall curator for the biennial, which ran from 19 October to 19 December 2013.