The project is located in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China. The Epoch Gate in history, serving as the spiritual core of the old city, was built in 1555. It has been a witness of the prosperity for Yiwu for centuries and a symbol of good fortune and wealth. Architects are inspired by the unique historical context of the site and integrate time dimension into their design. Challenge: 1. As the first high-end property in Yiwu, it functions not only the focus of the commercial, hotel and residential complex, but also works as a starting point of the urban facilities. How to embody an international stage of welcoming Yiwu city and conform to the traditional Chinese aesthetic architectural style in the commercial district becomes the most important priorities to consider in design. 2. In the condition of narrow and long parcel, building density of nearly 60%, closing to the city, almost no landscape, constructive limitations, and a time limit of 2 months；how to show material texture, collage, construction details, and the charm of the building, is almost the most difficult part in design and field control. 3. The site is located at the end of the commercial street and is an extension of the later commercial planning. On the basis of the original form, presenting multiple functions and site features has also become a key point of functional arrangement. Inspiration: The design comes from a reorganization of Cubism—pursuing the form of fragmentation, analysis, and recombination, creating a separate image, and taking many combinations of fragments as the target to be presented. The cubism separating from the appearance can tally well with the old city with rich cultural implications, leading an evolution of an architectural style—from representational art to new cubism; from ornamental to architectural feature, to spread culture in an architectural way. Solution: 1. Using BIM to design and plan the whole process, and creating a virtual construction process in advance; in the key points, the designers set sample and solve problems on the site. 2. Adopting multi-stage construction; in the exhibition hall stage, combining the second and third floors into one floor, and using overhead structure and roof compartments to meet the equipment requirements in different stages; in the later long-term commercial stage, the required structural enclosure is supplemented according to the customized space. Main material: Choosing warm beige sandstone in size of 1800*900, using a way of 2cm slotting and 5mm densely-intertwining to form an orderly but not rigid 3600*900 combination, supplemented by metal buckle to split the walls; metal strings, metal perforated pedals, metal pendants and other components together reduce the visual distance between architecture and people. Spatial Analysis: The original buildings form an overhead courtyard, which makes up for the lack of landscape. The 9-meter-high anti-arc-top exhibition hall brings a pure poetry to the interior space. The long and almost floor-to-ceiling skylight in the exhibition area brings natural light to the interior space. The large curved wall on the north side becomes a natural arc-shaped curtain wall for projection in the night. Highlight: Modern and classical, private and public, constitute the simple style of this building. The narrow field forms a private side facing the residential area, while retaining the common features along the commercial axis. The stability of the southern side and the lightness of the north side interact and lead to deconstructed and isomorphic features. The geometrical form dispels the narrow connotation of the classical architectural prototype, and truly integrates with the city and the modern spirit. The complexity of the building structure is solidified in the urban texture and becomes part of the neighborhood communities and the people who live in.
Lacime Architects upheld the architectural philosophy "Simplify complicated material" since it was established in Shanghai. The name "Lacime" was given by founder Song Zhaoqing. It comes from French which means"peak"and express the aim to design first-class architecture work. After 13 years'development, we have over 500 architects and rich experience in the large projects in china and overseas. We actively participate in the residential, commercial, cultural, tourism and various type of work, aiming to cultivate local talents, integrate elite design team and provide best solutions to the clients.
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