Paper Roof

Fresh Angles on Tradition

Our light-as-air design for a reception center for a new city district next to Jin Hai Lake in Bin Hai makes a simple yet eloquent statement. A sleek glass box is topped by a contemporary take on the sweeping roof of traditional Chinese architecture – instantly recognizable, yet uncompromisingly fresh: The perfect harbinger of the new urban landscape that will rise around it.

Time span2019
Size1 500 m²
LocationTianjin, CN
TypePublic Spaces
Partners in charge
Nanne de Ru, Stijn Kemper
Project team
Filip Galić
Penny Uni
Caroline Desplan

The iconic roof design plus the flexibility of the interior will ensure a long and versatile future for our building.

The Creativity of the Canopy

A viewing balcony on the upper floor

The Creativity of the Canopy

As uncomplicated and unpretentious as a piece of paper – that’s the canopy roof that defines our reception center in Bin Hai. The upswept corners are a feature of ancient Chinese buildings and were believed to be auspicious, alongside their function in deflecting rainwater. The diagonal beams of the center’s roof form a mesh that references a forest canopy, sheltering the glass pavilion beneath with dappled shade like the branches of a tree.

Standing on slender legs, the roof rises to 18.5 meters at its tallest point, and extends over an area of 30 x 50 m – defining the outside deck some five meters beyond the perimeter of the pavilion. This gesture anchors the airy, transparent pavilion to the site.

Landmark on the lake

Brightly signaling a prominent location
Horizontal accents contrast with the nearby towers
The view of the entrance
01 - 03

The Color of Heaven

The angled corner of the roof canopy

The Color of Heaven

Made not from paper but from powder-coated steel, Paper Roof’s canopy appears weightless by coloring it in the same blue as the sky: the color of heaven. In contrast, the dark horizontals of the pavilion moor it firmly into the ground beneath. An elegant statement, it stands on long legs that are just 50cm thick and rises at the front in a friendly gesture towards both visitors and the nearby lake. The roof structure was welded together on site – the curved sections being prefabricated – and then finished by hand to create a smoothly polished surface. The same high level of finishing was applied to the near seamless glass facade of the pavilion.

The open areas around the atrium accommodate the public program while the rest of the upper floor houses more private office spaces.



Ground Floor

Upper Floor

Site Plan

Start the conversation
Next project

Çanakkale Antenna

Towering Above the Rest