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A Dragon Dance of Light: The Emerald Screen Pergola by Wutopia Lab

Emerald Screen Pergola, Wuxi, CN / Wutopia Lab

The Emerald Screen Pergola at Bogong Island Ecology Park in Wuxi, China is a captivating addition with its airy volume and lightweight appearance. Created by Chinese studio Wutopia Lab this architectural pavilion and sheltered corridor is more than just a structure – it is an abstract folly and a carefully designed landscape that perfectly complements its green surroundings. The goal of this project is to infuse a sense of ‘magical realism’ into the everyday experience.

Emerald Screen Pergola, Wuxi, CN / Wutopia Lab

In classical Chinese gardens, structures like this have always held great significance. Typically made from bamboo or wood, they consist of roofless corridors, pavilions, and walls, which are then covered with climbing plants. Wutopia Lab takes inspiration from this traditional typology and combines it with modern materials such as steel mesh and tube, resulting in contemporary, nature-inspired forms. These temporary installations not only provide shade but also serve as trellises for flowers.

Emerald Screen Pergola, Wuxi, CN / Wutopia Lab

The original steel trellis at Bogong Island, which stretched for 1.2km, used to be adorned with wisteria and roses but had fallen into disrepair. Wutopia Lab stepped in to revive and reimagine the structure, giving it a new shape and a mist-like white appearance. The architects describe these structures as dynamic elements that can open, close, stand alone, overlap, and even disappear, transforming the once monotonous design of the trellis corridor. The interplay of light creates a vibrant atmosphere reminiscent of a Dragon Dance, hence the name “A wandering dragon-like Emerald Screen Pergola.”

Emerald Screen Pergola, Wuxi, CN / Wutopia Lab

Chief architect Yu Ting explains that the design includes a flower pavilion that serves as both the entrance to the corridor and the park itself. The central structure, made of layered white feather-like steel meshes, acts as a semi-transparent pantheon. Its completion will mark the grand reopening of Bogong Island Ecology Park, showcasing the vision and creativity of Wutopia Lab.

Image courtesy of CreatAR