Rooi Design and Research, Pavilion S and the circular economy

Rooi Design and Research,

Feng Shao,




Interior Design,

The studio Rooi Design and Research designed Pavilion S, a sustainable project under the banner of the circular economy. Within their pavilion, the multidisciplinary team addressed one of the big problems of temporary showrooms in the exhibitions and fairs that come and go, at a time when it is essential to save resources.

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Rooi Design and Research, Pavilion S and the circular economy We are all aware of the speed with which the business world develops and also of the fleeting nature of many purpose-built artefacts, especially some created for events such as fairs and exhibitions. A lot of exhibitors build temporary showrooms, but when it’s all over, the construction waste and showroom materials cannot be correctly cleaned and recycled. This causes a lot of useless waste and is a source of pollution, and the issue of emissions is included too. That problem is largely ignored still now.
Rooi Design and Research has taken this issue to heart. At the 2019 Shanghai International Furniture Fair, they developed a separate outdoor pavilion, specially designed for a furniture exhibitor: Pavilion S. With this building, they unveiled a new comprehensive, sustainable design.
The underlying concept behind the temporary structure shows the keen sensibilities of the young designers, Zuoqian Wang and Dan He. They founded the design studio in Cape Town in 2018 and set up offices in Beijing and Shenzhen in 2019. 
First and foremost, the designers used plywood for the building’s primary construction materials. This is one of the most commonly used materials in the furniture-making industry. The idea was simple - these construction materials could be upcycled at the end of the fair. The materials for the building consisted of 821 plywood panels in the standard market size of 1.22×1.22 metres, the most economical design structure used for processing. The most significant advantage of this project was how easy it was to build, and the 48-hour assembly time, drastically reducing construction times and costs.
Pavilion S by Rooi Design and Research is not just a furniture showroom, it’s also a place where visitors to the fair can relax and rest. The walls were made to resemble huge, glazed cube shelving, and ended up being showcases for the furniture, giving the general public different visuals with surprising angles. The furniture display is clearly visible, and the transparent facade catches plenty of natural light. At the same time, the 1.22-metre depth of the cubes prevents direct sunlight flooding the showroom interiors.
The main framework adopts a mixed use of timber and steel, and the roof is designed as a hyperboloid (positive and negative arch-beam steel structure). The interior of the pavilion is free of columns, presenting a sleek, smart overall showroom area. Rooi Design and Research believes that the complexity should be consumed in the design and technique of the construction process, giving the public the impression of something that is clear and easy to understand, bright and eco-friendly for the city. At the end of the Shanghai International Furniture Fair, the entire pavilion was dismantled, and 410 sets of tables and chairs were economically produced for the use of a rural community.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Rooi Design and Research
Location: Shanghai
Year: 2019
Images: Feng Shao


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