Wooden Pavilion With A Sunken Walkway Is Designed To Facilitate Orchid Cultivation

Located outside Puerto Escondido, Mexico, at Casa Wabi is a majestic pavilion made from wood. Created by the Mexican architecture studio Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónia, the Orchid Pavilion was commissioned by the art institute Casa Wabi to be built surrounding the Tadao Ando-designed center.

Designer: Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónia

The rather unique and eccentric-looking pavilion includes a rose-colored sunken walkway with benches on the sides and gravel-filled spaces in between the slabs. It has a simple wooden structure with an A-shaped canopy over the sunken walkway. Horizontal wooden slats cover the face of the pavilion. Clay basins have been installed along the apex of the buildings, with bowls facing the sky to collect rainwater that will filter into the space below, forming a drip-irrigation system, and creating a humid environment. Holes have been dug along the walkway, in turn exposing the gravel, and allowing water to drip below and evaporate, providing sustenance to life inside.

“Firstly, the pavilion is a simple and austere machine,” said CCA. “The water is collected by clay-based trays that remain permanently humid.” “The breeze and heat enable the orchids to drink water directly from the environment, eliminating the need for manual watering of the specimens,” they continued.

While building the pavilion, the studio tried to incorporate Japanese sensibility and slight touches with the work of local craftsmen. Local materials were used in the construction of the structure. Vases are hung from the joists of the pavilion, and they hold orchids, which have been curated from the local area. A little basin with a faucet has been positioned at the end of the walkway, providing visitors with a space to drink water, next to the orchids.

“The sound of dripping in the bowls resonates with different natural cycles and human activity,” said CCA. The pavilion is designed to be a “cool, semi-submerged space”, which provides visitors with an opportunity to appreciate the diversity and beauty of orchid species, while also letting them connect with nature and the roof of life.