Crane Pavilion By GBBN Architects

One of the most important symbols in Chinese culture is undoubtedly the Crane, which is said to represent longevity, immortality, and spiritual transcendence. GBBN Architects was tasked with a compelling project that led them to create a sanctuary honoring the dutiful bird — and after a short time at the drawing board, they dreamt up the origami-like Crane Pavilion.

The building utilizes the symbolism found within the Crane’s characteristics — a large, angular neck reaching toward the sky, intimate, peaceful spaces, and precise linework — all of which provide an expansive foundation reminiscent of one of the nation’s most iconic symbols. It features a hand-polished concrete exterior, crafted with precise angles in order to house a serene glass enclosure and provide immaculate views of the surrounding marshland. On the interior, a cafe with a spiral staircase leads to a single solitary meditation space just below a large skylight. From the back of the origami-like structure, the folds give way to a wooden platform where occupants can watch cranes take flight at this nature preserve.

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