Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the world’s leading research institute on panda preservation, is embarking on a significant campus expansion in a national forest park near outskirts of Chengdu. A group of four panda pavilions has been approved by the city park district administration to become the research lab to house and study the pandas’ behaviors and activities. It also serves the community for educational and recreational purposes, while attracting millions of panda lovers annually to visit the campus.

The panda pavilions are devoted to foster a cross-disciplinary collaboration as a care center for the giant pandas. The design is organized around four open-air circular courtyards which serve as outdoor playground for the bears, while providing continuous connection with nature. Aimed at educating, entertaining and inspiring a diverse audience from around China and the world, the panda pavilions will bring a unique cultural experience that blends science, education, art and entertainment.

Inspired by the natural landscape of Chengdu’s prairies, these panda pavilions are intended as a fusion of architecture and landscape. Located at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the Panda Pavilions take form in the primitive geometry of a circle. Nestling in the wilderness, these panda houses embrace their natural surroundings, integrating themselves with the topography of the national park.

The panda pavilions are designed to create an immersive experience of exploration and discovery for the visitors. They house the pandas’ indoor and outdoor activity spaces and living quarters, along with staff administrative offices and supporting facilities. Also, the pavilions provide interactive exhibition and education spaces designated for panda research and preservation.

The pavilion facades feature pressure-treated cedar wood panels and cast-in-place concrete walls. These buildings are equipped with water nozzles around the pavilions to create a fine mist for panda friendly temperature and humidity. The project is currently under construction, and scheduled to be completed before the summer of 2021.