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.