Dragon Skin Pavillion

Robot Made 2019: Dragon Skin Pavilion

The Dragon Skin Pavilion is a robotically fabricated temporary pavilion, installed at the University of British Columbia. The pavilion is the result of a workshop hosted by the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). The workshop took place from October 5-9, 2019 and was led by Assistant Professor David Correa of the University of Waterloo, Oliver David Krieg of Intelligent City, and SALA Associate Professor AnnaLisa Meyboom.

This experimental structure is assembled without any metal fasteners, drawing inspiration from Japanese and Chinese building traditions. The pavilion is composed of an elastically bent grid shell structure that is connected and held in place by structural shingles. These shingles, held in place by wooden dowels, act as strong moment connections by restricting the potential rotational movement of the passing grid shell members.  The shingles also provide cover from the rain.

Traditional Japanese and Chinese wood joinery have a long history of skillfully crafting wood-to-wood joints that are not only highly functional, but artistically expressive as well. The skills necessary for this work, while still practiced today, have not been prevalent for over a century due to the mechanization of production and standardization of components. Using robotics, highly articulated and performative joints can once again be fabricated. The Dragon Skin Pavilion demonstrates the new capabilities of technology to develop innovative material applications that harness the unique properties of wood to animate public spaces.

Fabricated and assembled over 3 days, the pavilion is an adaptable design-to-fabrication system that can be customized to suit local material availability and fabrication tools. Each workshop participant is provided with the tools and skills required to develop a unique version that can better meet their needs. Built using the state-of-the-art eight-axis industrial robot at CAWP, the pavilion demonstrates how old materials and new technologies can reshape our built environment.


Design & Development

David Correa
University of Waterloo: uwaterloo.ca/architecture/people-profiles/david-correa
llLab. – Design Laboratory: www.lllab.net

Oliver David Krieg
Intelligent City: www.intelligent-city.com

AnnaLisa Meyboom
UBC SALA: sala.ubc.ca/people/faculty/annalisa-meyboom


UBC Project Leads

Jason Chiu
Jörn Dettmer
UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing: cawp.ubc.ca 

Dean Gregory
Campus and Community Planning

David Gill
UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program


Built by

Teaching Assistants:

Lys Hermanski
Sarah Klym
Derek Mavis

Student Participants:

Emilia Brasdefer
Shirley Duong
Thomas Foster
Ellen Harper

Shabaan Khokhar
Alexandra Ianoul
Ho Yun Law
Yiguan Li
Samuel Shulman

Ethan Schwartz
Yekta Tehrani
Angela Wen

Colin Willaims

Industry Participants:

Blair Birdsell – Equilibrium Engineering
John Boys – Nicola Logworks
David Girard – Peak Ventures
Vicente Hernandez – Universidad de Concepcion
Kyle Malinsky – Fraserwood Industries Ltd.
Jinsu Park – KPMB Architects

Jason Skladan – Skladan Design
Stuart Wylie – East Fraser Fiber


Forest Industry InnovationThis project is a collaboration between students, staff, faculty, and external partners as part of UBC’s SEEDS Sustainability Program


Filmed and Edited by Shabaan Khokhar

Photos by David Correa and Shabaan Khokhar

AnnaLisa Meyboom Interests & Works

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