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Dragon Skin Pavillion

Dragon Skin is a collaboration between architects Emmi Keskisarja, Pekka Tynkkynen, Kristof Crolla (LEAD) and Sebastien Delagrange (LEAD), is an ongoing project exploring the use of post-formable plywood in digital design and manufacturing. Its origins are in a workshop the authors held for Finnish architecture students at the Tampere University of Technology in the autumn 2011. A pavilion was designed and built in the workshop in just 7 days and was exhibited at the Finlayson gallery in Tampere. Having been selected among thousands of applicants for the Hong Kong biennale, Keskisarja and Tynkkynen crafted a second version in collaboration with LEAD, together with an international team consisting of material and structural engineers.

Innovating parametric design and digital fabrication, the structure consists of 163 post-formable plywood components. The pieces were manufactured at the Tampere University of Technology in Finland, with the help of PIPU Ltd. The components were shipped to Hong Kong, where the team assembled the pavilion for the exhibition situated in Kowloon Park.

Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture is a double biennale organized in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and as such one of China’s most important architecture events. What makes the Dragon Skin pavilion quite special among this year’s exhibits, is that it is the only human sized structure that can be entered by visitors.Made out of birch plywood, the pavilion is quite and exotic sight in Hong Kong, where the prevalent natural material in use is bamboo. It has quickly become one of the biennale’s main attractions.

The exhibition was opened for public on the 16th of February and continues until the 23rd of April. 70.000 visitors are expected during this time. Among the exhibitors are renowned architects such as OMA, Steven Holl Architects, MVRDV and Reiser & Umemoto Architects.