excitement to sell conservatism
Housing developments in China are notoriously conservative, consisting of repetitive building typologies. One exception however is the initial building, a clubhouse which has its first life as a sales house for the project. This building is expected to be an original landmark, surprising enough to entice visitors and unique enough to promise a state of the art residential development to follow.
actualizing the virtual
The formal and spatial propositions for this project are based on a Klein bottle, or more correctly a Klein surface. A space-containing analogue of the Mobius strip, it represents an attempt to actualize in three-dimensional form, a four dimensional mathematical concept – a virtual object. The result is a vessel with one surface; with the inside surface a seamless continuation of the external surface.
BAU’s second Klein bottle building is in simple terms, a large three-storey box with a tapering single-storey tail that bends around and inserts itself back into the box. Paradoxically this bottle appears as a solid mass of brick tiles. But all is not as it seems: the mass lifts off the ground at one end as it reduces to two storeys in height and twists back to crash through the original box; this box is not static but has an undulating and crumpled external surface – it’s as if the box has been distorted by the shear impact of it own tail; the brick tiles are in stretcher bond, but they run vertically up the walls and over the roofs.
Internal spaces are continuous, dynamic, and surprising in their diversity of scale and form. A great funnel shaped hall of sports, which sits above a base of retail and cafes. The sports hall is terraced in ascending steps enabling simultaneously a full view of all the activities.
Doors for pedestrian access, and windows and skylights for light and ventilation, are all treated the same – as a series of seemingly random perforations, which are in fact driven by a close analysis of the internal functions of the project. Fenestration as perforation maintains the bottle as a surface.
stable not static, skin not mass
This building is a barely stable, three-dimensional dynamic object at rest, not the static mass tectonic of the traditional masonry architecture that will make up a majority of the housing to be sold from this building.