THAD curves prefabricated shelter over historic Peking Man cave

An undulating shelter has been constructed over the Peking Man cave, a historic site in China that is home to ancient human fossils, in an effort to protect it from weathering.

Designed by the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University (THAD), the shelter blocks rain and wind out of the cave, while also reducing fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

The cave is part of the Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site near Beijing, which has yielded a number of significant archaeological discoveries including a collection of fossils of Homo erectus skeletons dating back 750,000 years that are known collectively as Peking Man.

THAD's shelter, which was completed in 2018 but photographed recently, was commissioned after a severe rainstorm led to the cave system being damaged by flooding.

It is composed of overlapping panels

"The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the prehistorical human societies of the Asian continent but also illustrates the process of evolution," explained THAD.

"The semi-closed structure was adopted to maintain the natural condition of Peking Man cave as a buffering space that protects it from the uncertainties."