Nestled in the mountains, a labyrinthine concrete Rest Station by Jumping House Lab beckons to weary cyclists, inviting them to embark on another journey—this one architectural.
The station itself seems like an intricate piece of land art, coiling around a tower and rising with the rugged terrain to reveal hidden vistas. It's a momentary escape, a detour from the monotonous cycle track, but one that rewards with sweeping panoramas of the landscape.
Arriving from the south, cyclists park their bikes and step into a welcoming corridor, an ode to organic form and texture. What begins as an open, expansive rest area evolves with each twist and turn into a contemplative space—a narrow hallway here, an intimate courtyard there, each inviting pause and introspection.
The corridor culminates in a tower. At the tower’s base, a shadowy entrance tempts, leading to stairs that ascend seven meters skyward. A halfway landing offers just enough space for a solitary visitor, framing a view to the south through a petite window. At the peak, the space unfurls, rewarding the traveler with the ultimate view: a panoramic embrace of the surrounding mountains.
The station manifests as an architectural canvas of textured concrete, imprinted with the woven patterns of bamboo formwork—a material chosen for its rich symbolism and aesthetic rawness. But the project's completion wasn't without its challenges. Narrow roads made concrete mixing a manual endeavor, and budget constraints influenced the casting process. The resulting imperfections, dubbed 'scars' by the team, mark a tangible record of the building's coming-into-being.
Three large openings punctuate the station's solid structure, offering glimpses of bamboo groves, intimate courtyards, and, of course, the mountain vistas. Complementing these are circular apertures, carefully spaced to frame views and alter the building's interior luminosity throughout the day. At night, these holes transform the building into a lantern, glowing against the mountain backdrop.
In the near future, Boston ivy vines will weave their way up the exterior walls, adding another layer of organic texture and helping the building merge even more seamlessly with its natural surroundings.