Rongcheng, located on the coast of the Yellow Sea in north China, has beautiful beaches and comfortable temperatures, attracting many tourists from all over the world in summer. Standing on tiptoe on the most popular beach in Rongcheng, WATCHER NO. 3 not only serves as a reception for the scenic visitors, but also can be a half-covered beach shelter for short breaks and meals.
The design aims to explore the space shaped by the building, the characteristics of the hazy area between indoor and outdoor. The circular inner courtyard created by the round building defines a space that is outdoor but enclosed. The flying Coffee area, though, opens a gap to the outside for this space. At this moment, the originally rigid spacial boundary was broken, and the inner courtyard was no longer an inner courtyard, like a half-lifted hijab, give a glimpse towards the outer world.
The building stands on one side faces to the city, which is used as a foyer and reception service, providing a two-side entrance from the beach and the city. Visitors can approach the beach through the foyer on the first floor, facing directly the sun, sea breeze and sandy beaches outdoors. Or they can also follow the gentle ramps on both sides of the building, up to the coffee on the second floor, and enjoy a wider sea view indoors. The current height difference between the beach and the plaza is used to reduce the Lift height of the coffee shop.
The flying part of the building points to the sea and the skyline, creating not only a sky cafe with a great view of the sea, but also the exciting gray space between the inside and the outside that it covers and surrounds at the same time. This space has no clear physical boundaries but has a field of space, has no specific functions but has a colorful space. In the daytime, it is a summer shelter with swings, deck chairs, and sea-viewing steps; During the night, it is a resting place with outdoor theaters, music festivals and beer after a tired day of play.
Moreover, the design also considers the implementation of the structural system. Concrete walls are arranged in the reception, toilet and office area of the landing part, and two groups of “A-shape” column are arranged on the other side. As a whole structural system, the con-crete shear wall and columns supporting the gravity of the building and resisting earth-quakes and typhoons at the same time. The box girder is arranged in the center of the cir-cular footpath, and the steel plate is laid on the footpath surface as the floor. The "skin ef-fect" of the box girder and the steel plate is combined to bear the overall force, which greatly improves the stiffness and strength of the structure, and realizes the large span on the side facing the sea.
This project tired to explore the openness of public buildings through the study of field space. In addition to only adopting a transparent facade, the design team hopes the building to embrace nature and welcome guests in a most generous way through the form of the building itself.
In the practice of architectural design, Tongyi Architects constantly explore the collision and unity of “Tradition / Modern " and " Technology / Art ". While pursuing the contem-porariness of architecture by modern science and technology, we also cherish the power of inheriting traditional construction materials, craftsmanship, space and culture, thereby giving life to architecture. Meanwhile, we pursue the logic of architectural design and construction, and establish the matching internal order from space, function, structure, materials etc, so as to convey the architect's aesthetic thinking through the architecture itself.
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