practicing architecture in shanghai Wutopia Lab Completed a demonstration space featuring exhibitions, meetings, and multifunctional event spaces for developer Xuzhou Vanke.
The 1,169 square meter building, called Vanke Cloud Valley Project Display Area, is located on Software Park Road in Quanshan District, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province in China.
“When I got the call inviting me to design, I was in the mountains with a land grant. On intermittent signals I knew that the land was at the border between the old and new city in the far north of Jiangsu. The client was hoping I could set up a demonstration center of a different kind at the intersection,” said Wutopia Lab. narrowness.”
Read the full narrative in Wutopia Lab’s own words. Accounting for the grand history of the city is a cliché for architects. For example, the birthplace of Liu Bang, the birthplace of Han culture, a major transportation hub, coal mining and energy base, and the decisive battle of Huaihai. But these narratives cannot hide the city’s loss and anxieties, obliterating the tangible life and joys and sorrows of ordinary people.
During quarantine when we had no contact, I thought quickly. I wanted to design a building on this border that could show the different living conditions of ordinary people. You can see different normal people showing their scenes of their lives on an ordinary street, without much narration. Every scene is a stage in a play. Architecture consists of those stages, which become a stage, in which any ordinary person can perform. It is not the ambition of the city that is important, but the local highlights that one satisfies and is willing to share. As some cities are not necessary but it is a matter of convenience or not, especially in the age of smartphones, everyone can express themselves through the limitations of geographical distance.
After the signal was restored, I told Sun, who oversaw the design team, that I wanted to create a set of stages on the boundaries of the old and new city, with ordinary people as the main characters. Performance is about their private life in all aspects. He said yes.
In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. – Andy Warhol.
Although the site is a typical city, the actual buildable land constraints are very high. After meeting various planning and fire prevention requirements, the narrow trapezoidal construction site within the building rebound line is about 500 square meters, and the height limit of the structure cannot exceed three floors. The total construction area of the prototype, including two sets of sample houses, is only more than 1,000 square meters. In fact, this small display area center has no extra floor space as a stage for people performance.
It would never be my choice to put a facade over a functional interior. When function and interface are not separated, interface design becomes irrelevant. In the end, one fails to offer different solutions to the client until the physical strength and patience of both parties are exhausted. Nevertheless, we insisted on turning it into a stage.
We re-analyzed Vanke’s sales center software and trading and categorized them differently. We combined the basic and common space and defined it as a large “noisy” space that flows across three floors. and audio-visual hall, protection area, office, model room, tea room, coffee, meeting, negotiation, signing, VIP reception, inner garden, and other independent rooms as “quiet” small square-shaped auxiliary components connected to the large group space according to the flow line turn. You can recognize these stacked boxes on the facade and see a portion of the “noise” flowing into the cracks of the boxes.
Plug-ins have large windows or balconies in reference to the theatre. A group of side stages that do not take up floor space appear on the facade. The chest on the facade is no longer just a chest, but a scene showing a “scene from everyday life”. The different stages show an identical daily life for each individual. When grouped together, the exhibition area becomes a monument to the daily life of ordinary people.
When we were investigating the site, Xia Xia noticed a line of mountains sharply appearing at a distance from the normally unrecognizable facade. This natural and concrete green mountain unexpectedly became the inspiration for our design, and we assembled an abstract artificial white mountain as an image of the Vanke Cloud Valley viewing area through flowing boxes.
In order to avoid the 3 storey height limit that would turn this ‘mountain’ into a flat roof, we continue to use rooftop boxes to form a graded ‘mountain’ appearance. Originally, each chest was a platform where guests could climb stairs to the top, where they could look around and appreciate the beauty of the landscape. However, due to “roofing platform” and “personless roofing” restrictions on the height limit, as well as floor space and strict cost control, the boxes that make up the top can only be converted into a pavilion. Although it is not possible to walk from the ground up the hill, it is an ideal way to hide equipment on the roof.
The prototype area mount consists of two parts, the building itself and the pavilion, including the fire staircases attached to the building.
The former creates a solid volume through solid metal panels and glass, while the latter creates an illusion with perforated aluminum panels. The real and the imaginary complement each other to form a mountain of human life.
I reached the top of a mountain from which I could remember what I had forgotten – Fernando Pessoa
“It’s a mountain and like a cloud.” After accepting the offer, the customer commented, “It reminds people of it data cloud. “The prototype reflects the city’s location as a ‘high-tech city’. In this way, the work becomes communicative through multiple interpretations. The image created by architecture through the interpretation and sanctification of everyday life of ordinary people is given the symbolic meaning of the city by readers and has become a double declaration of Everyday and archaeological life, “a mountain of perfect life” for ordinary people commemorating the present and every day in the future.The mountain of folded clouds.
Bye Maria! Life is just for a moment. – Fernando Pessoa.
First floor plan
second floor plan
3rd floor plan
concept and perception
Facts about the project
project name: Vanke Cloud Valley project display area
design company: Wutopia Lab
Principal engineer: Yu Ting
project management: Huang Hee
Project architecture: Xia Yanming
design team: Xu Yunfang, Lin Jianming (Intern)
Structural Consultant: Mio Binhai
Architectural drawing: Jiangsu Jiuding Jiahe Engineering Design & Consulting Co., Ltd.
Building design team: Cao Chenggu, Lu Yang, Zhang Xuran, Song Fang, Zhang Lu
development: Xuzhou Vanke Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Customer design team: Sun Chunsheng, Li Xin, Zhao Yanrui, Tong Jinghai, Zhou Na, Xu Xiaojian, Chu Yi
landscape design: Atelier scale
lighting design: bpi
lighting consultant: Chloe Chang, Wei Xiu
Site: Software Park Road, Quanshan District, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province
region: 1169 square meters
complete: December 2021
Material: aluminum composite panel, perforated aluminum panel, etc.
All photos © Liang Junhao
All graphics © Wutopia Lab
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