Modular Wooden Exhibition Space Planned for the International Horticultural Expo

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We love modular homes and modular design at all scales. We love it when a module is small and can fit in our hands like the life-sized modular building blocks used for building pieces of furniture. And we love it when modular goes large – like the 30,000 square metre modular exhibition space proposed for the Beijing Horticultural Expo.

Architecture studio Penda has revealed plans to create a vast network of modular building blocks forming a wooden village of exhibition space in Beijing. 

The aim is to create an alternative to the traditional expo pavilion, banishing the long queues of visitors waiting to get inside, and instead drawing visitors around and through the structure where both the insides and outsides of the structure is part of the exhibit.

Called Thousand Yard, the pavilion was designed as a network of smaller scale components. Penda architect Chris Precht said: “It was a core feature to avoid a large, iconic structure that covers a majority of the land. Rather, we wanted to create a village-like typology that can be explored by the visitors.”

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Instead of a singular building on the site, the whole site becomes the pavilion which will have a plaza at its centre with a number of pathways leading through to areas including a greenhouse, a food court, teahouses, a vegetable garden and the exhibition galleries.

Its 8x8m modular configuration is based on an ancient Chinese measuring system and is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate a number of future uses. The modular units will be built from cross-laminate timber beams prefabricated in a factory. The structure can grow horizontally and vertically to meet increasing accommodation or it can be deconstructed and recycled elsewhere if required.

The project is not scheduled until the 2019 expo, but we’re already counting down the days to check out the finished modular masterpiece.