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Blurring Boundaries: The Elegance of TAO’s In-between Pavilion

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

Located in the bustling Nantou Ancient Town in Shenzhen, Trace Architecture Office‘s (TAO) In-between Pavilion is a symbol of urban renewal and symbiotic design. As part of the Diverse Homology Museum complex, this unique gallery space explores the intricate relationship between political power and geography in the Pearl River Delta region.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

The pavilion seamlessly blends into its surroundings, mirroring the vibrant energy of the urban village. With its light and semi-translucent metal mesh facade, the pavilion exudes elegance and grace. Like a delicate veil, it blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, creating an atmosphere of fluidity.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

The architecture beautifully balances elements of ambiguity and order, openness and closure. Throughout the day, the pavilion transforms alongside its dynamic context. The ever-changing light creates a diverse and lively spatial experience for visitors both inside and outside its walls. This architectural masterpiece stands as a testament to adaptability and resilience.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

Situated in an area that has undergone constant renewal over time, the site itself tells a story of chaos coexisting with vitality. From private residences to a public domain, three distinct property plots seamlessly transition within this confined space. This transformation calls for a proactive design approach to connect with surrounding public areas.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

At ground level, the building’s structure recedes from the delicate outer metal skin, creating a multifaceted space that seamlessly integrates with the street and reflects the diverse nature of the urban village. This integration is further enhanced by the presence of a vertical street, which is formed by the arrangement of volumes and mesh skin. This vertical street provides a meandering pathway to galleries and a roof terrace, offering visitors various perspectives of the town.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

From the city’s viewpoint, the building’s facade appears hazy, with moving figures strolling behind it. This dynamic element injects a sense of liveliness and energy into the building. To make the most of the limited space available, the architects at TAO have maximized the utilization of floor area. As the floors ascend, the volumes project further outwards, creating a unique physical rhythm and urban gap space.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

Structurally, inclined columns provide support to the volumes on the east and west sides. The overhanging framework of the west side is exposed externally, while the middle columns remain concealed within the walls. This arrangement gives rise to different forms of space, which embody a sense of lightweight structural aesthetics.

In-between Pavilion, Shenzhen, CN / Trace Architecture Office

The In-between Pavilion is not just an ordinary structure; it represents a harmonious blend of history, artistry, and innovation. TAO’s creation serves as an inspiring example of how architecture can adapt to its environment while maintaining its own unique identity.

Images courtesy of Chen Hao and TAL