Five beguiling latticework bamboo towers developed and fabricated by Xylotek, the Bristol-based advanced timber structure specialists, animate the landscape of “The Guangzhou Garden: Guangzhou China” at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show (21-26 September), crowning the event’s Gold Medal
▼花园中的竹塔，bamboo towers int he garden ©Alister Thorpe
“第一次参与Chelsea花卉展对我们来说是一次激动人心的创意挑战，我们希望抓住广州这一拥有1500万人口的巨大而富有活力的城市的本质，将其提炼并展现在一片仅有20×10米的花园基地上。”——Grand Associates主创设计师Peter Chmiel
“Taking part in our first RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an exciting creative challenge for us as we look to capture the essence of vast and vibrant Guangzhou, with a population of 15 million people, and distil it down into a garden plot just 20m x 10m! .” – Peter Chmiel, Director, Grant Associates
Xylotek与知名景观建筑设计事务所Grant Associates合作完成了这些精致的竹塔，唤起人们对广州建筑天际线的想象。广州是一座位于中国珠三角地区的港口城市，拥有1500万人口，致力于在“生态文明”的概念基础上规划城市环境。在设计中引入塔楼的想法最早来自于Grant Associates，他们在“广州花园”的整体设计中体现了重新在人与自然之间建立连接，重塑城市景观的迫切需求。五栋精致的塔楼成为了景观“花园”城市的几处节点，高度从1.8米到8.4米不等，人类和野生动物都可以使用。它们由毛竹片制成，这种竹子生长快、可持续性高，比起一般建造材料更容易回收再利用。
Designed as a collaboration with the leading landscape architecture practice Grant Associates, the filigree towers evoke the architectural skyscape of Guangzhou, the port city on China’s Pearl River Delta with a population of 15 million and a commitment to environmental planning based on the concept of ‘ecological civilisation’. The idea for introducing towers to the scheme originates from Grant Associates whose overall approach at “The Guangzhou Garden” brings to life the idea that cities need urgent re-landscaping in ways that reconnect people and nature. Punctuating the landscaped ‘garden’ city, the five filigree towers, intended for use by wildlife and humans alike and ranging in height from 1.8 to 8.4 metres, are made of laminated mōsō bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), a fast-growing, sustainably sourced bamboo that is easier to recycle than typical construction materials.
external view of the bamboo towers in different scales ©Alister Thorpe
Each tower consists of vertically aligned curving upright elements, wrapped with a bracing lattice of curved spiralling strips hand-bent into place and fixed around the uprights. Xylotek worked from early design stages to develop the geometric and structural principles and to determine the best material to use. Mōsō Nfinity – formed of glue-laminated strips of bamboo sourced from sustainable plantations in China – was chosen for its strength and durability in external conditions.
▼结构分析，structural analysis ©Xylotek
The lattice patterns wrapping around each tower vary, with features recurring at different scales. On the largest and smallest towers, the wraps spiral in continuous regular patterns, whilst the intermediate ones are covered with shorter ribbon-like strips conveying a sense of randomness, although underlying repetitive patterns can be discerned.
▼不同尺度竹塔外层包裹的图案不同，different wrapping patterns of towers in different scales ©Xylotek
▼从竹塔内部仰望结构图案，look up at the structural patterns from inside the tower ©Alister Thorpe
The larger structures feature a bench and observation platform, and entranceways leading towards them are made of bamboo strips re-laminated to form Gothic arches, a form that recurs in the clamshell-like tower, which carries a swing.
▼大结构内设有长椅，bench featured in larger structures ©Alister Thorpe
▼自然中的休息空间，resting space int he nature ©Alister Thorpe
▼长椅和结构细部，details of the bench and structure ©Alister Thorpe
“我们十分高兴可以在过去两年间与Grant Associates合作设计并实现‘广州花园’。我们尤其喜欢探索竹子的工艺潜能，利用这种材料的特性创造诗意的新形式。” ——Martin Self, Xylotek
“We were thrilled to work over the past two years with Grant Associates on the design and realisation of the ‘Guangzhou Garden. We particularly enjoyed exploring bamboo’s technical potential and harnessing its capacity to create poetic new forms.” – Martin Self, Xylotek
Xylotek’s overall aim was to create lightweight lattice structures whose geometries would work in sympathy with their structural actions, using the principles of the gridshell to provide stiff, curved structures. To this end, Xylotek carried out a series of physical tests and structural analyses to determine viable bending curvatures and the rates of twist that could be achieved by strips of the laminated bamboo at different cross-sections. Feedback between workshop-floor experiments, full-scale prototypes and digital simulation enabled them to find optimum geometries. The structures were assembled in Xylotek’s Bristol workshop – the largest structure requiring a bespoke axially rotating assembly framework to be developed in order to allow the wrapping elements to be wound onto a temporary armature until its own stiffness was achieved.
▼施工过程，construction process ©Xylotek
The garden has been designed on behalf of the China-based culture project consultancy Creativersal. Its main sponsor is the Administration of Forestry and Gardening of Guangzhou Municipality.
▼水池中的竹塔，bamboo tower in the pool ©Alister Thorpe