Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
UNVEIL in Ordos, China by ///byn designed with AutoCAD and rendered with 3dsMax & Rhino V-RAY
March 27th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
UNVEIL is an office complex, part of ORDOS 20*10, the new financial district of Ordos [1,800,000m2] in the third planning growth of the DongSheng District, in the Northwest area of the City of Ordos. Ordos is the fastest economic grow city in Inner Mongolia. Ordos has 86752 square kilometers, 80 times Hong Kong’s size, the equivalent of two Swiss territory size-and its population of 1.5 million, only one-fifth of the population of Hong Kong. For this project, similar to the Ordos 100 project, the local government has decided to put together a large group of architects. Instead of being 100 foreigner architects, this time they reduced the list to the 20 best Chinese architecture practices and10 international ones with experience in mainland China. Some of the architects are: Preston Scott Cohen, Plasma Studio, Graft, MAD, Zhu Pei, MADA s.p.a.m. or Hailim Hsu & Nader Terhani.
Based on a public lottery, plots T20 & P27 where assigned to ///byn. Both plots are one next to each other. T20 is on a flat area and P27 on a sloped area. In between them a linear public park plot will host public amenities buildings. From the beginning, ///byn designed the two plots based on the same design principle, due to their proximity and direct visual connectivity.
Real Estate in Ordos is vigorous and dynamic. This unique situation brings to its citizens the opportunity to research about their own ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITY. Our design proposal is inspired in the origins of the Inner Mongolian culture and its own recognition. Translating a nomadic culture into architecture was only possible if the references were translated from cultural or philosophic references into architecture, based on their meanings and not on their iconography.
The weather in Inner Mongolia is severe and strict. Its roughness also implies a natural beauty that is difficult to find elsewhere. The cold temperature and the sand storms teach us how to live in relationship with nature and its components: protection, sheltering, environmentally intelligent construction techniques, changeable temperature performance along the day… all these aspects will drive our architectural guidelines. In the past the soil was a resource of temperature stability. Here we consider this element in a new way: potential for sharing.
By occupying its depth we can connect the different buildings with a shared and sheltered public space. This continuous space will host the entrance lobbies from the public plazas and the program of shared public facilities: auditorium, meeting rooms, business center, exhibition space, restaurants. It also links to segregated building lobbies to ensure a secured management.
This indoor public space will be pierced with generous openings to ensure the necessary needs of day light. This weather-proof space also provides an alternative indoor circulation to the outdoor pedestrian paths along the business park.
We propose a rational typical floor plan that is flexible enough to allocate all sizes of office spaces. As the public amenities are located at the public shared floor, the office space can be fully usable. One company can hold one entire building, one entire floor or only a part of one floor, depending on their needs. The entrance lobbies are visually connected to the public network space, giving them the added value of a wider representative exposure that a detached small building could not afford.
The above ground area will be dedicated uniquely to office work areas. The vertical core and the vertical atrium will help to distribute the space. The cores have been located and designed accordingly to the orientation and size of the buildings. In the smaller buildings (26mx26m) the cores have been pushed to the north facade providing a bigger office area facing south. In the bigger buildings the core has a central position dividing two long strips of office bays.
The verticality of a chimney that points to the sky represents for us the meaning of pride of a better and prosperous future. From the public spaces the visitors can discover the blue sky of Ordos through SKYEYES that link the public space in the basement to the square shaped office plates. These vertical atriums are shaped according to sun orientation and prevailing winds direction to ensure natural lighting, passive heating and ventilation.
The façade is wrapped with an exterior fabric façade. The PVC based fabric skin is not parallel to the building envelope giving to the building freedom from its urban planning “cubic” requirements. As well the different deformations facilitate spatial conditions as entrance canopies or connections to the building base. The fabric exterior skin can roll up and down depending of the weather conditions. During day time it will be open allowing the building to gain heat, during night time it will roll down to keep the temperature. This movement will bring the identity of the buildings: in the morning the buildings UNVEIL to welcome the users, at night the buildings shut down as a metaphor of the end of the working day.
STRUCTURE: The main concrete structure is made out of Structural lightweight concrete based on coal ashes (containing undesirable radio nuclides) and waste of stone quarries. This material differs from the traditional concrete in its cementious compound.
This material achieves a lighter density without minimizing its strength, therefore also reducing the loads to be supported by the foundation. It is also an ecologically friendly material due to its larger content of recycling material (waste of stone quarries) and due to the use of local natural resources.
FABRIC FAÇADE: The textile proposed is a common PVC-coated mesh with two methods of manufacturing to choose from: coated and extruded. PTFE mesh and HDPE mesh. The common link with all of the meshes is their ability to provide a view through the textile at the same time that reduces the amount of extra heating indoor.
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