2021 #CCEawards Showcase: Taiyuan Botanical Garden Domes
by By CCE
“A beautiful and technically difficult structure that pushed the envelope with a very large span of timber, high quality control and leading-edge fabrication.” – Jury
The city of Taiyuan wanted to create a world-class botanical garden under three long-span gridshell domes. Rather than steel, the domes would be constructed using wood, a more sustainable and esthetically pleasing material.
Canadian firm StructureCraft supplied structural engineering for a unique paraboloid scheme. With the largest dome at 88 m, it stands as the longest clear-span, non-triangulated timber gridshell in the world.
The site features three paraboloid domes, ranging from 43 to 88 m in diameter and 12 to 30 m in height. The gridshells comprise light, doubly curved glulam beams, arranged in two or three crossing layers. Timber was chosen due to its adaptability to the project’s geometric demands, as well as its inherent fire resistance, structural flexibility, natural esthetic and environmental sustainability.