The Bug Dome is a fusion of nature with human nature. Built from bamboo, wood, gravel and recycled concrete on a derelict building site in Shenzhen, China, it’s a work of art as well as a functional space.
The design is inspired by an insect’s cocoon, as a shelter to protect ‘industrial insects’ (or illegal migrant workers) from the elements of ‘un-nature’ or ‘the exploding urbanism in the heart of Shenzhen’. According to its designers, the Dome is a concession to nature – weak, flexible. It mediates between nature and human nature, growing as it does from the ruins around it.
The space was used during the 2009 Shenzen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, for underground bands, poetry reading, discussions and karaoke, and as a lounge for illegal workers from the neighboring camp.
It provides shade, a stage and a fireplace. As the Biennale ends, the Bug Dome will become an ‘unofficial social club’ for illegal workers.
The Bug Dome was created by Marco Casagrande, Hsieh Ying-chun and Roan Ching-yueh, collectively known as WEAK! ‘Insects inspire our construction methods,’ they say. ‘WEAK! Architects are the industrial insects.’
‘To design,’ they say, ‘is not enough. Design should not replace reality. The building must grow from the site; it must react for its surroundings, it must reflect life and it must let to be itself, like any other living creature. Architectural control is against nature and it is against architecture. Built human environment is a mediator between human nature and nature. Man must be weak to be part of nature.’ RM
Images: WEAK; Marco Casagrande