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Bug Dome

Shenzhen, China
1 of 12

A group of architects calling themselves WEAK! have created a bamboo shelter as part of the Shenzhen & Hong Kong bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen, China.


Called Bug Dome, the structure was designed by Marco Casagrande of Finnish architects C-Laboratory, Hsieh Ying-chun and Roan Ching-yueh, the founders of WEAK!. They learn their construction methods from insects. As architects they are more like design shamans building a connection between the modern man and nature. They take their commands from the jungle. They are convinced that man must be weak to be part of nature.

Bug Dome is realized on a wasteland of a ruined building site in-between the Shenzhen City Hall and an illegal workers camp. The design is inspired by insects. The bamboo construction methods are based on local knowledge from rural Guanxi brought into the city by the migrating construction workers.


The space is used during the SZHK Biennale for underground bands, poetry reading, discussions, karaoke and as a lounge for the illegal workers from the neighboring camp. The building offers a shade, a stage and a fireplace. After the Biennale the Bug Dome will act as an un-official social club for illegal workers from the Chinese countryside.

The building is weak, flexible and improvised to meet the site-specific conditions. It is growing from a ruin. The architectural control has been given up in order to let the nature step in. The weak architecture is a mediator between the human nature and nature. The construction is a result of participatory planning between the designers, construction workers and local knowledge.

The cocoon is a weak retreat for the modern man to escape from the strength of the exploding urbanism in the heart of Shenzhen. It is a shelter to protect the industrial insects from the elements of un-nature.

When the fire is up a society is born again. One has to take the liberty to travel a thousand years back in order to realize that the things are the same.

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  1. Dezeen
mariathuroczy, November 18th, 2011
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