The pavilion features a bottom-up design composed of variable truncated cones, 409 in all, in which these basic constructive elements are filling the entire surface creating a network. The cones negotiate their parameters with each other by adapting their size, form and position. While maintaining their individual diversity and freedom, the elements cooperate together to achieve common goals such as overall stability, shape, illumination, views and spatial quality.
The cones were manufactured using corrugated cardboard in 28 layers, each of which was cut, glued and labelled with a computer-controlled machine. Weatherproofing is provided by a shrink foil, a packing material like all the other that are constituting the pavilion.
For all steps, from design, production, logistics, packing in Zurich to shipping and assembly in Shanghai, the process was implemented and optimized by means of self-made computer programs. By intelligently nesting and packing the cones the amount of material used, the production time and the shipping volume were significantly reduced.
The experiment is intended to demonstrate how architects can use CAAD to customize a design process. It was possible on one side to overcome logistical and fabrication constraints with integrated solutions, and on the other side to exploit the potential of digital design on the aesthetical level.