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Public Realm

Panda playground integrates an animal-friendly habitat with research space

“A great project that explores the experience of nature and animal life in a sensitive and formally satisfying manner, both in its architectural geometry and the material palette,” Christos Passas, Judge

Project: The Panda Pavilions

Award: Public Realm, Gold, 2023

Location: Shanghai, China

Architect: Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch

Client: Chengdu Tianfu Greenway Construction Investment Co., Ltd./Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

The Panda Pavilions are part of an important expansion of Chengdu National Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center, a world leading research institute on panda preservation. Designed around four open-air circular courtyards functioning as outdoor playgrounds for the giant pandas, the new facilities also include panda living quarters and a care centre. The pavilions are home to the research lab studying the pandas’ behaviour and as such integrate a habitat for the animals with a behavioural research lab for scientists, as well as an immersive experience of exploration and discovery for visitors.

Design highlights

The four ring-shaped pavilions sit organically amongst the woodland park landscape, inspired by Chengdu's prairies. Pavilion facades feature vertical wood-grained aluminium fins that echo the natural patterns in the surrounding bamboo grove.  The project provides a pedestrian friendly navigation experience for visitors featuring viewing galleries that offer varied vantage points for observing the animals, while prioritising a panda-friendly environment. Approximately 55% percent of the building adopts natural ventilation to lower energy consumption.


Photo credit: Atelier Ping Jiang | EID Arch

  • LEAD ARCHITECT: Ping Jiang

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