We intended to create an appropriate relation with the immediate topography of the site and its further vicinity. In addition, being the launch project for the Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone, this building is to be read as the embodiment of the new Zone. Our design deals with those two issues at the same time, being a hub with platforms at multiple altitudes connecting with the circulation of the landscape, and taking the form of the Yangtze/Jialing River confluence as the building plan, immediately creating a symbol for the new Zone as its name Liangjiang implies “two rivers”, and allowing a special interior space for public event and a spatial structure that accommodates multiple cantilevers and height variations.
In section, the building is based on the stilt house archetype that is common in Chongqing, as the region is mountainous with complex topography. The “legs” of the building create a small footprint that liberates most of the ground, allowing a floating main building volume that lightly touches the high point of the hill on one half, with the half in the air leaving plenty of space between the main floor plate and the ground. This space hosts auxiliary programs such as café, meeting room and office spaces. The building structure has allowed many platforms at different heights, with each of them connecting to various functions/systems such as the main entrance, VIP entrance and the zone-wise landscape path system.
The project is committed to the cause of sustainability and is built with steel structure and standardized pre-fabricated panels, reducing the use of on-site concrete pouring and therefore reducing non-renewable material usage and labour hours, which is rare in the Chinese context as the modest labour cost had long reinforced the dominance of in-situ concrete pouring as the main construction method. This system also allows for proper insulation detailing integrated with the building envelope. The small building footprint and minimal alteration of the topography are themselves important strategies for environmental preservation in the wake of explosive urban constructions becoming common for years. The building is rated Two Star under the Green Building Evaluation Standard.
This project is simple yet complex. It can be interpreted as the result of direct symbolism taking reference from the form of the rivers, yet the spatial quality resulted achieved is abstract and expressive, that the symbolism is not perceived unless on paper or high in the air. Instead, the spatial and structural systems are enhanced by direct formal reference. It is one simple move that has achieved many goals.: 1. the project is the living room for the entire new zone, hosting a multitude of programs such as reception, exhibition, communication and office, extensively immersed within the landscape. 2. The building is poised to have a dynamic relationship with the topography, where programs and circulation are spatially distributed spatially rather than just in plan or section. 3. The exhibition format for the scale model of the new zone is novel as it is vertically displayed on a tall wall that is both spatially and structurally prominent, as this format is a breakthrough from the typical urban exhibition halls across China. 4. The overall circulation is choreographed as a sequence of controlled emotions. Before entering the exhibition center itself, visitors enter a winding narrow path lined by tall bamboos. This path opens into a small plaza in front of the building. After going through a modestly sized door, visitor arrives at the 19m tall exhibition hall. From here, other routes can be accessed towards paths on the floors above and below.
The client has fondly named it “The Hall of Sun and Moon” for the neighbouring Moon Lake that can be seen from this building with a round plan. As the launch project and for the New Zone, it has successfully been a symbolic object and a place for reception and exhibition. Over time, the Zone has grown and multiple research institutes and universities have moved in for their research branch for technological development, assisting Chongqing to transform into an economy of the new era.
Founded in 2002 by Tang Hua, scholar and professor of Chongqing University, Tanghua Architects is an award-winning architectural design practice based in Shenzhen. Tanghua Architects provides Architectural Design, Architectural Engineering Design, Design Consulting Services, and consistently participates in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture related researches. In 2012, Tanghua Architects was awarded as one of the 100 architecture design institutes in China.
Tanghua Architects believes in the efficient use of resources and respects the rights and dignity of every individual. Under an appropriate and rigorous framework, a kind of regional modern architecture with unique style is created in accordance with professionalism.