Domes made from reclaimed endemic wood

Made possible by the international collaboration between Silverlens Galleries, local artist Bernardo Pacquing, Rotterdam-based designers Superproject and Summum Engineering, the Domes Village is a series of four dome-like structures in the Philippines, made from reclaimed endemic wood.

Each of the four domes has its own theme, and they are connected by suspended bridges. The domes are made of reclaimed hardwood from old houses, like molave, guijo and yakal. Each piece of timber had to be visually graded for quality and its species identified.

Some of the steel components were digitally fabricated, but most components were produced manually.

The suspended bridges connect the domes, creating a path to follow along the entire installation. The bridges, spanning between 12.4 and 28.2 meters, are made from steel wire rope and reclaimed timber boards. Each of the four structures are circular of spherical in design. The architecture between the domes varies, and refer to natural or mathematical forms: the ‘coral’ dome, the ‘natural’ dome, the ‘mangrove’ dome, and the ‘geodesic’ dome.

The Coral Dome is inspired by fungia corals, found growing in the Indo-Pacific, and are composed of radiating, vertical skeletal plates, called septa. The dome has a diameter of 6.5 meter and a height of 3.2 meter. It consists of 35 radial, curved timber ribs and a central steel ring structure.

The Natural Dome is entirely clad with reclaimed timber, placed in an arbitrary fashion. The interior is a post-and-beam timber structure.

The Mangrove Dome refers to the small mangrove trees that typically grow in and near coastal water. In its centre, a diamond-shaped deck forms a steel structure connecting the second and third suspended bridges. Root-like ribs, composed of segmented timber, seem to grow outward, grounding the platform to its surroundings.

Finally, the Geodesic Dome is a homage to Buckminster Fuller, the American architect who popularized the use of these lattice shell structures in architecture. Its 6.4 meter high shape started by projecting a subdivided icosahedron onto a 10.3 meter sphere, then deforming it on one side to form an opening for the third bridge. As a result, the structure is aligned with the forces from the bridge, avoiding the need for additional elements. The timber elements vary in size, following the bridge’s forces as they travel to the ground.

Credits: Silverlens Galleries, Bernardo Pacquing, Superproject, Rick Atienza, John Colenbrander, Summum Engineering, BCDA
Photos: Rick Atienza / Jasper Niens / Mark Sacquing / Bernardo Pacquing