We designed a building that shows all its different functions and elements. We do that by creating three elements, which are carved out of the same stone: the archive block, the exhibition volume on the opposite corner and the connecting base. Each of those elements can be read individually, but only together do they form the entire archive museum. The more public areas of the exhibitions form an interface to the city, whilst the most enclosed areas of the archives are set back, furthest away from the streets, protected by the different layers of the building. The archive block in the north-eastern corner of the site houses the main part of the archives, as well as the offices. A massive block allows for an efficient floorplan, but also evokes the idea of a safe, protected place for the historical documents. On the opening side of the site, facing towards the south and the park, we situate the entrance to the exhibition volume. It is the most public area that creates a strong interface towards the city. To accentuate the entrance, we modulate the building to form a grand opening, that is equal parts guidance and protection from the weather for the visitors. This gate also divides the volume into its two parts, which serve as equal entrances to the two exhibition areas. They are connected on the inside through a common temporary exhibition space. The third element of the museum structure is the base. It houses further space for storage and exhibition, but also some special functions, as the educational facilities, restaurant, etc. Its general shape is a reaction to the site condition: A long, slowly rising, flight of stairs that orientates towards the park and governmental buildings in the west. Its core is a plaza that forms a center, and distinctive outside space, usable by the special functions. And lastly the northern end opens up to allow a framed view at the mountain ranges in the distance.
The task was to design an Ocean Science Museum in combination with a new waterfront city district for a new urban development in the north of Qingdao. A landscape park forms the center of the new quarter. Bastion-like plazas open up views of the lake and the outlaying rocky coast. An abstract landscape and terraces lead from the promenade to the museum. As a floating, artificial volume the museum touches the ground just lightly, as if the landscape would pass under the building and continue. The reflective surface of the building creates an incredible, ephemeral appearance, connecting the three elements of earth, water and sky. The building consists of independent functional areas for event, research and management, that togehter form the base on which the exhibition area rests upon. Between these two massive blocks the lobby opens up, as part and extension of the landscape. From there open staircases lead to the exhibition platforms. The sequence of thematically related plateau allows a personalized tour of the exhibition. The polished metal surface of the exhibition area reflects the clouds in the sky, that light reflections from the water basin and the people on the entrance plaza. The building reflects its surroundings, thus creating changing impressions of the museum. A beautiful image of how nature and science complement each other.
The project consists of a central building surrounded by a ring of supporting structures that will collectively serve the community, as well as sheltering the inner basilica from street noise. The northern buildings will consist of prayer rooms and counselling spaces, whilst to the south there will be a cafeteria, library, museum and a smaller church. The aesthetic will be modern in conception. Curved interiors, formed by numerous metal slices, give the space a very organic feel and the central space will envelop the worshipper in a womb-like curve. In its ground plan the main edifice will adhere to a conventional nave and steeple formation but, by positioning the entrance directly in front of a lake, we tried to break with convention and to create a strong sense of connection with the natural world.
Jining, the birthplace of Confucius in east China‘s Shandong Province, is building up a new city center about six kilometers south of the historic old town. A stadium and numerous office buildings for companies and authorities have been already completed. The Jining City Culture Center, on the shores of the Taibai Lake, will further stimulate the development of new district. Based on our masterplan proposal, we will plan the Folk Arts Center, while architects from China will plan the the City Library (Jingtang He), from the Japan the Art Museum (Ryue Nishizawa) and from Italy the Culture Museum (Mario Botta). The master plan for the 53.5 hectare site, which provides a gross floor area of 385.00 m² building, suggests a clear structure: The Cultural buildings in the west and the commercial buildings in the east are connected by a raised platform that allows views of the nearby lake from this higher point of view.
The Mass Art Center will be an integral part of the new Jining City Culture Center. As opposed to its neighboring buildings – art gallery, museum and library – it will host a variety of functions. People arrive at the building from the north-eastern corner, which orientates to a grand public plaza. An opposite situation is found towards the west, where a hill descends towards Taibai lake.
Reacting to the specific program, the concept aims to create a dialogue between three blocks and a spiraling common space that wraps itself around them. Inside the three blocks are the three main functions: Theatre, administration and education. The common space has a multitude of tasks: It forms the access to the other departments, but is also a meeting point in a more indirect sense: Exhibitions etc. form the programmatic link between the solid blocks. The new Mass Art Center is a building that represents different functions coming together. Its series of courtyards are a continuation of the culture center’s masterplan, and form a fluent connection between the plaza, the center of the building and the park in the west.
The building serves as a strong cornerstone of the new culture center. The core concept of the building is to have a public space that wraps itself around the closed archives in the center of the building. The characteristic long flight of stairs on the west façade provides space for reading areas and leads the visitor to the top floor. Here, on top of the “book mountain”, the main reading space, lounge and media center are located. They are furthest removed from the more cosmopolitan ground floor, and offer a spectacular view over Taibai lake. The library reveals its inner functions through the façade: Large natural stone walls shelter the books behind them, as opposed to the open staircase which cuts into the massive volume. Further openings towards the public space and into the landscape offer access to children’s library and delivery. The interior uses the same material as the outside, with light penetrating through opening in the individual layers of the building, creating a steady increase in natural light as a visitor ascends to the top.
Tianjin has many smaller park-areas. This vast area offers the possibility to create something like a representative “garden-saloon” for the city. We therefore decided to keep a core area as parquet free of any buildings suitable to accomodate a variety of public events, for example expositions, festivals, concerts, public viewing of football matches or the Olympics. This parquet is accompanied by elevated terraces, on the northside covering the shopping area , in the south as boulevard lined by such outstanding cultural buildings as the library, the museums, the theatre etc. These buildings together with the impressive scenery of the congress- and entertainment complex on the north side make up for an adequate architectonical setting of the park area, supported in the second line by highrisers along the accompanying streets. On the eastside we have reset the building- front for the adjacent quarter to give the architectonical frame for the park a clear rectangular contour. Only in the west the new city garden remains wide open to emprace the city hall and grant free transition to the existing park-area and the boulevard leading to the stadium area.
By playfully lifting the landscape on 4 corners of a rectangle and providing the possibility to cross the structure at the same time, this “lifted landscape” adds smoothly into the exiting topography. At the highest point 14 floors are hidden under the green roof. This roof garden is accessible to the public and at the same location of different uses, especially for the TV and broadcasting studios and their employees. Outdoor patios of restaurants, an amphitheater and film and recording venues form the basic framework. We understand the building as a walk-in sculpture. Cuts and atria allow the visitors an insight into the modern production of the media. The building combines various functions of the Shanxi TV and Broadcasting Centre under one roof as “houses within a house”. By making the roof accessible, an interface is created between the building, the landscape and the public space, thus reflecting the transparent relationship between media and public.
The community clubhouse of the Society Hill Residences is located at the heart of the residential area, near the main gate of the initial construction phase. Its cubic architecture of the is closed towards the street yet opens up towards the interior of the site, spanning the full height of the building and offering an unobstructed view of the plaza with its water cascade, behind which one can see the beginning of the Orchard Park. The multi-functional building offers a large variety of sports facilities: the indoor pool and gymnasium stacked on separate floors, fitness and aerobic rooms, and open air tennis courts on the roof. Next to this concentration of facilities, the plan includes a foyer for meetings and exhibitions, a lounge, administration offices, as well as numerous technical facilities. The facade is constructed from dark red, partially perforated Trespa panels distributed uniformly across all functional areas and allows for direct or filtered views of the outside.