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.
Spruce Art Center in Zhejiang, China by LYCS Architecture
June 9th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LYCS Architecture
Located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, the site is flush with mature spruce trees and a pre-existing one-storey abandoned structure. The design is a mixture of two fundamental challenges in architecture: to evoke new spatial meaning while reconciling an existing structure, and to produce a formal language that can be dynamic and strong, yet carefully caress spruce trees. The Spruce Art Center design is inspired by traditional architectural aesthetics from the southern region of the Yangtze, known as the most desirable place to live in China. The architecture of this region is known to exude an intimate connection to water and to high-profile cultural institutions and people.
LYCS’s design creates three different internal courtyards hinged together, embracing within the spruce woods: a tranquil courtyard on the northeast part of the site secludes itself from the rest and blocks the often-busy views from outside and provides people with a moment to meditate with solitude, to appreciate the spruce in reflection and to respire at the enchanting West Lake (西湖) resort. The central courtyard functions as an interior circulation space, connecting both the open and closed courtyard by dissuading movement and view. The roof is an evolution of the Chinese traditional tile pitched roof: the four vertexes of the roof curve up at minor degrees and consequently descend the roofing gently towards the midpoint while a mirrored action is duplicated towards the roofing center surprisingly at the end. This transformation holds the drainage advantage originated from the pitched roof, in addition to echoing a reminiscent sentiment along the buildings nearby.
About LYCS Architecture
LYCS Architecture, based in Hangzhou, China was founded in 2010. The firm engages in cutting-edge architectural design as a pioneer of cultural and creative industries in China and internationally. The core team is composed of graduates from Princeton University, Harvard University, Tsinghua University, and other well-known institutions. Currently members of LYCS Architecture teach at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the China Academy of Art College of Design. The team has breadth and depth working with such architectural firms as SHoP, Preston Scott Cohen, and Reiser+Umemoto in the United States, Bjarke Ingels Group in Denmark and Kengo Kuma & Associates in Japan, where they accumulated a wealth of practical experience.
The firm is committed to both the ever-evolving demands of architectural design theory and practice as a function of our society. LYCS invest in the critical issues of building design, urban development, and construction in China. and the design demands that an innovative design synthesis requires for international quality. The firm is currently developing designs for high-end residential projects, five-star hotels, high-end clubs, energy efficient and innovative commercial buildings, ecologically sensitive urban landscape plans, galleries and as such. These projects are located throughout China, including Beijing, Hangzhou,Shenzhen, Sanya, Shanghai, Jiaxing, and others. LYCS Architecture’s designs were (add the AZ Award Finalist) awarded the 2010 International Modern Decoration Media Award, 2010 French CA’ASI “New Chinese Architectural Design Award” , 2008 VELUX International Architectural Design Competition Silver, to name a few. The firm was also invited in the International Architecture Exhibition at the 12th la Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy.
About Founding Principal
Hao RUAN received his Master of Architecture from Princeton University School of Architecture. He also holds a M.Arch and B.Arch degree of architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing and was one of the youngest Visiting Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He teaches at Harvard GSD (with Prof. Wang Shu) and the School of Architecture China Academy of Art.
Prior to founding LYCS Architecture Inc. in 2010, Ruan has worked in SHoP Architects in New York, Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou and Preston Scott Cohen Inc in Cambridge. Ruan is also an architecture critic with writings published by AREA, Time Architecture, Daylight and Architecture, World Architecture and Art4D. He was one of the authors of “Design for China”. Ruan was honored as the youngest “Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders” in Seoul 2006, and “Goldman Sachs Global Leaders” in New York 2005.
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