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  3. The Plan 107 [06-07-2018]


phase 1


The first project by Naturalbuild, which was widely noticed by professionals and covered in social media, is the Lostvilla Boutique Hotel in Yucun, located in a small town called Moganshan in Southern China. The design bears a clear echo of Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza’s design language, but compared to Siza’s philosophy of architecture and space as the sole visual focus, the Lostvilla is more of a place to observe rather than an object to watch: what you feel inside this environment is space; space that constantly reminds you of the outdoor scenery, and this makes you look away from the architecture itself. This approach is eminently suitable for the needs of a mountain resort. Guests are not expected to be brainwashed by the architect nor to worship their architecture; they are offered perspectives for viewing and enjoying nature. And all the while, the delicate and well-designed details of a variety of materials provide a comfortable place to relax. Naturalbuild was invited to create Soft Matter for an outdoor installation and extension of the Lin Gang exhibition, as part of the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2017-18 that I curated. This project may be viewed as a reflection of the ultimate exploration of materials and structures in stripped-down, simple architectural form. Their building leverages the most basic themes of architecture: covering and support. The covering material is polyurethane foam, sprayed onto both sides of a grid and reinforced with structures pre-stressed by using hanging weights. At the same time, curved steel bars forged using meticulous structural calculations were added to the supporting steel frame to control exactly how it deforms. The design strikes a perfect balance between the precision of the structure, its flexibly-shaped covering, and the rough material that stays close to the natural landscape. Jiading RV Camp Center may be seen as an overlapping example of the two projects cited above. Its...

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