Ascentage Pharmaceutical Headquarters is a new 147,000m2 modern R&D and manufacturing complex in Suzhou for a young Hong Kong listed pharmaceutical company. Symbolizing the aspirations of Ascentage’s culture whose cutting-edge research in Biotechnology has developed promising new cancer drugs to improve the lifestyles of a future generation afflicted with diseases once thought untreatable or incurable; the state-of-the-art campus was realized using some of the most technologically advanced digital design and fabrication tools.
Open, clean, and modern, the public and employee programmed volumes of the new campus’ seven buildings are discrete curvilinear shapes, soft in nature, elevated above a glass base in a floating composition over a black granite clad reflecting pool facing the main Xinqing Road. The 80m tall R&D and Administration Building, the new iconic symbol of Ascentage sits proudly at the intersection of the busy southwest corner of the site on Xinqing Road, in proximity to a new mass transit subway station.
Inspired by the benzene ring of the chemical formula used to annotate the planar bonds of the six carbon and hydrogen molecules, each building volume’s façade is carefully designed using the benzene ring hexagon as the source form, which is then engineered to fold parametrically bonding around the seven different building volumes. These parametrically modeled facades using adaptive BIM families were then digitally fabricated using Ultra High Strength Concrete panels and anodized aluminum nodes and extrusions affording distinct façade designs for optimal balance of visual transparency and privacy.
Together with new high-tech research labs and an expansive advanced manufacturing fit out bathed with ample diffuse natural light filtering from its translucent roof, the distinctly programmed composition of the projects’ buildings on the 60,870m2 site, create a singular campus and new identity for Ascentage’s promising future.
Design: 2016-2020 Construction: 2018-2022
Nestled in the footsteps of the Yuhua Jinhua mountains in the countryside of Anji county is the new AnjiPlay Kindergarten and International Child Care Center. Anchoring the education complex comprised of research and teaching centers, an AnjiPlay Museum, convention center and dorms, is the AnjiPlay early childhood kindergarten, the flagship of educator, Ms. Cheng Xueqin’s self-determinate, play based curriculum schools for 3 to 6 year olds.
Love, risk, joy, engagement, reflection are the guiding principles of AnjiPlay. Maximizing the opportunities for imaginative play and contact with natural elements and phenomena requires a predominant presence of nature embracing a humble architecture. Earth, water, sky, trees, bamboo, hills, tunnels and ditches are among the integrated environmental elements that engage children in endless exploration, allowing each child to take ownership of discovery and learning through “True Play.”
Architecture, is one of the environmental elements that affords complexity in terms of spatial experience and shelter. With the overlapping blending of the natural and architectural elements, new opportunities, phenomena and experiences are constantly created for play and learning. AnjiPlay architecture though must be in its elemental form, simple enough to allow for phenomena to be experienced, not dictated, trusting and engaging children in learning from their natural environment.
The Anji Campus design is the result of experimental play, following the manner of the 21st century early childhood education movement. Founded by Cheng Xueqin, Anji Play begins with the introduction of “large, minimally structured materials within an open-ended, minimally structured environment” and the right of self-determined play. In exercising these rights to space, freedom, materials and time, the children develop play intentions that manifest themselves in “high degrees of complexity.”
In the same manner that the children, left to their own devices, seek to “eliminate factors that stifle play intentions,” so does the architecture of Anji Campus. The prerequisites to the design process derive from the fundamentals of Cheng Xueqin’s philosophy: children have a right of “access to open-ended environments that do not determine or direct the experience or outcome of play… environments that are carefully designed to maximize discovery and problem solving but not lead to specific outcomes or insights…that allow children to challenge themselves at their own level of self-determined risk…[and] that provide access to the natural world as much as possible.”
In fulfillment of these rights is a neutral architecture with the ecology in the foreground, and a fluidity between the spaces. Located in Anji County in the Zhejiang province of China, the site is diverse in its topography and natural elements.
Within the traditional context analysis arises a natural playscape of five clusters, with a ramp of Anji bamboo connecting. The five clusters dissolve into sixteen homerooms, sharing a common building block but remaining unique in form. The homeroom becomes not only an uninhibited space to play and learn and grow, but a home to its children.
• Winner of the 2016 AIANYS Award of Merit: Architecture/Institutional. • Winner of the 2016 German Design Council Iconic Award Best of Best: Museum Architecture. • Shortlist Finalist for the 2016 World Architecture Festival: Culture/Completed Buildings. • Winner of the 2015 Concrete Industry Board: Roger H. Corbetta Award of Merit, Out of Country. • Financial Times – Simon Schama’s 10 Forgotten Wonders of the World • Artinfo – Top 5 New Museums in Asia 2016
Located in the historic scenic water town, of Wuzhen in northern Zhejiang Province, the 7,000m2 art museum is dedicated to the renowned hometown artist/writer Mu Xin.
Mu Xin, was a complex and inspiring figure, he was not only a celebrated artist of abstract landscapes and paintings but equally accomplished as a scholar, poet and writer.
The building, is not only inspired by the complexity of the artist’s work but also his writing which was deeply impacted by the consecutive imprisonment he experienced during the Cultural Revolution in the early 1970’s and his ultimate exiling to the West. Influenced by these experiences and his scholarly upbringing, Mu Xin created space. Space, not only in the evocative multilayered painting of abstract landscapes but also in his writings reflecting the mental expansion of the mind within real physical constraints.
The ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal nurtured the splendid culture of Wuzhen, and the long historical value of the well preserved city south of Yangtze River. To this day, one experiences a dense landscape of centuries old canals, streets, markets, courtyards, bridges and verandas. Taking a cue from the urban fabric of the 1,000 year old ancient water town of Mu Xin’s childhood, the museum itself is a landscape of intersecting experiences. A series of cast in place colored architectural concrete volumes in varying sectional relationship to the canal and “street,” house these experiences as singular galleries and program elements inviting visitors to wander through the “landscape.”
With the ever changing quality of the spaces created by the intersection of the volumes, “street” boundaries and the water’s edge, the visitor experiences an expansion of space not only in the physical realm but also as a bridge into the complex world of Mu Xin.
The design concept of the Han and Wei Luoyang City Site Museum is to place architecture between the sky and the earth, and to be built upon the past. It is based on and inspired by the urban layout, architecture aesthetics, Chinese character aesthetics, statue aesthetics and landscape aesthetics of the Han and Wei dynasties of Luoyang. By regrouping and reinterpreting these elements, we formed a new architectural and landscape space with contemporary characteristics.
Adhering to Han and Wei ancestors’ artistic spirit of shifting from formal resemblance to spiritual resemblance, the building pursues air, rhythm, form and spirit, blending architecture and landscape, straight lines and curves, solid and virtual bodies.
The appearance of the building is solemn and elegant, and the layout of space is open and smooth. It is an international heritage museum for the world to understand the Han and Wei dynasties and to feel the genes of Chinese culture.
Located in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province. The Hua Hai Gao Earth Park Natural Art Gallery appears nestled in a tributary valley of the Anning River surrounded by the natural bounty of the Hengduan mountain region. Taking into careful consideration the sectional topography of the site to the building height and form, the building appears timelessly within the river valley, as if formed by the pre-Anthropocene geological evolution of the glacial river. Inspired by the eroded natural stone shapes of river boulders, the Natural Art Gallery is formed by three discrete concrete shell volumes floating above a recontoured river bed housing exhibition areas, combining art and nature showcasing the natural beauty of the river and the future Haihuagou Earth Park Development surroundings.
One approaches the Natural Art Gallery from the south via a pedestrian foot bridge to the roof of the reception/exhibition hall, physically and mentally separating the visitor from the bustle of the access road connecting the planned visitor and VIP parking at the mouth of the river delta. While crossing the bridge on a journey to the Natural Art Gallery, one enjoys a view upstream of the river where water is diverted via a hidden ballast valve allowing the stream to gently flow from each successive concrete roof vessel to the other in a series of controlled falls which are then diverted down as curtains of water around programmed areas to be experienced.
Within the Natural Art Gallery, large sliding arced operable glass enclosures allow for views in a 180 degree panorama up and down the river valley while blurring the boundary between interior and exterior with the sound, smell and taste of the moving water and pure mountain air. Pools of varying sectional river depths allow for seasonal changes to the river boundary and activates ever changing experiences throughout the year bringing the visitor closer to the wonders of nature on each successive visit.
Our concept drew inspiration from Abogen’s research stage work with genomes, understanding them as the foundational building blocks of the human body. The representation of chromosomes are simple geometric forms, links, which when aggregated generate complex geometries and patterns. Each part is a module of the whole, which allows for complex yet controlled scaling. The design for the Abogen center too begins with simple geometries and forms (the building blocks of architecture), which are then deployed across the site at a range of scales to serve different functions creating a beautiful, functional complex from the basis of a simple 60° angle. The HQ and R+D buildings are sited at the intersection of the main road, making them the face of the project, whilst affording views back to the Wusong River. The production buildings are then arrayed around the principal buildings on the east of the site. This creates the opportunity for a protected park space to function as the connector between buildings. This vision synthesizes the fundamental forms of architecture and nature, to create a building complex serving the frontiers of science and biotechnology.
Design: 2016-2018 Construction: 2022
Anchoring the ring of new civic buildings bordering between the newly-planned Central Park and developing Central Business District, the Chengdu Ink Painting Museum appears like a painting hovering above the undulating mounds of the Central Park. The museum contains an invaluable collection amassed by the founder of the Fortune 500 company of 20th-century Chinese ink wash painting masterpieces, a revered art form practiced by scholar gentlemen and literati and is elevated above a valley landscape reminiscent of the favored subject for many artists.
Looking closer, the valley which cuts across the axis of the residential and commercial headquarters of the Guanghui development is programmed with retail and public amenities, which become the base support of the two-story museum gallery wing that hovers above. The layered walls and partitions of the galleries and open circulation spaces are hidden behind multiple layers on the facade facing the Central Park, the bronze pattern reminiscent of the great ancient bronze civilizations of Chengdu. Within the natural landscape, the galleries face the Central Park reminiscent of Chengdu’s past while the East facade projects toward the glass and steel towers of the Central Business District, the new future of Chengdu.
Siteman International Oncology Hospital
Siteman International Oncology Hospital
A new state-of-the-art private medical facility located between the metropolises of Suzhou, Wuxi and Shanghai, the Siteman International Oncology Hospital and Medical Center provides cutting-edge healthcare in a low-density environment integrated with the rich, natural landscapes of the historic Suzhou gardens.
At the foreground of the 128,000 m² complex, a 77,400 m² Oncology Hospital provides surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and proton beam therapy among other specializations, advanced equipment and technology. Patient wards include 143 single-person rooms, 110 double rooms, 22 intensive care units (ICUs) and related medical treatment facilities. In lieu of a traditional hospital typology, with stacked inpatient and outpatient towers adjacent to a central diagnostic and treatment center, the Huici Suzhou International Hospital and Medical Center distributes inpatient wards and outpatient clinics into low-density complexes within the garden landscape, providing ample natural daylight and views of nature.
To minimize inefficiencies and maximize vital adjacencies, the building complexes are designed at a specific scale to loop around the central diagnostic, treatment and imaging centers. To the north of the site, higher density structures house a 6800 m² Postpartum Care Center, a 13600 m² Rehabilitation Center and a 11400 m² Nursing Center.
Diageo Jade Complex
Diageo Jade Complex
Design: 2021-2023 Construction: 2022-Ongoing
The Diageo Jade complex is inspired by the tradition of whisky making, and its deep connection to place. Located in a fertile valley in Dali, and fed by pristine natural springs, the Jade whisky made here is born from a rich and beautiful environment. The architecture of the complex takes its cue from this relationship, drawing inspiration from the heritage of Dali and Scottish whisky making traditions, and taking advantage of the biodiverse landscape and spectacular views the site affords.
The architectural concept of the project highlights the experience of nature, by stimulating the senses. We have chosen materials and carved space in order to frame views, control light and amplify sound. The sky, water and air are integral components of the design, along with the earth, stone and planting. Taste, touch, sound and smell are all activated and stimulated through this crafted Jade experience. The Jade complex design is abstracted from the building traditions of Bai/Dali vernacular architecture, and historic Scottish whisky distilleries. These inspirations have a common material palette of rough stone, dark pitched roofs, and whitewashed walls. These materials are formed into a series of courtyard-like spaces, a typology typical in the region, to utilize sustainable practices of cross-ventilation and thermal mass. The long, linear site presents the opportunity to experience a dynamic, sloped landscape, approximately 12m from West to East.
The stone buildings of the Visitor’s Center are low and embedded in the ground along the north approach road, and then once inside dramatically open up to reveal expansive views of the Cangshan Mountains to the south. The building layout is terraced to take advantage of the naturally sloping site and create a dynamic visitor experience to be discovered.
A series of pools and water features are integrated with the Visitor’s Center to emphasize Jade’s deep connection to water. These pools are filled with purified water from the processing of the pristine single malt whisky. This water, along with collected rainwater, is also used to irrigate the lush landscape at the east end of the site, supporting the biodiversity of Yunnan where the original pristine spring water is cycled back into the ecosystem.
The tapered form of the barrel tower is an abstraction, of the famous Three Pagodas of the Chongsheng Temple in Dali. It is jewel-like shape (tapered at the top and bottom) minimizes shade of the peripheral platform below while giving the form a perspectival lift and a taller appearance than the actual height. The barrel tower is clad in tessellated pattern of white hexagonal metal panels, reminiscent of the faceted tiles found in the vernacular “Bai Architecture” of the region.
The National Museum of Korean Literature
The National Museum of Korean Literature
• The National Museum of Korean Literature – Competition Honorable Mention
Nestled in the hillside of Bukhan mountain, the National Museum of Korean Literature sits timelessly in the landscape overlooking the Eunpeyong New Town, anchoring the cultural cluster of important museums and art institutions that are emerging in the northwest of central Seoul.
Open and democratic, celebrating the cultural heritage of Korean literature, the NMKL is not only a state-of-the-art institution for archiving and preserving literature in written form, but a dynamic village for art and culture, promoting exchange, collaboration, and the passing of knowledge. In lieu of the collection storage being hidden and “out-of-view” to the public, two “cultural storehouse towers” were envisioned to contain the varied functional programming of the new NMKL. Clad in paper like ceramically fritted-glass sails, the entire complex arrangement evokes the soft curvature of the roofs and eaves of a traditional Korean village.
With advances in the production of sustainable forestry, the NMKL takes advantage of the increasingly accessible high-strength glulam/CLT technology. The leaning “book assembly” of each structural sail was conceptualized to act like a series of lightweight Vierendeel trusses, gently hovering on strategic points of the tiered landscape, creating an open and porous base. The curving structure creates a pinwheel of interlocked canted trays to provide area for programming within each floor, yet carefully blocking any direct sunlight. UV filtered fritted IG-units and integrated 50%/100% knockdown shading provides additional conservation protection blocking direct sunlight. Structurally engineered to withstand seismic and lateral loads, a tower floor-to-floor height of 7.8m with mezzanines, offer privacy and access to the multi-stage bookshelf system.
Taking advantage of the 9m sloping site, multiple public entrances, and circulation points around the entire complex provide logistics for culturally dynamic programming throughout the day and evening. The larger tower volume with the museum gallery and specialized library, consists of a series of tiered platforms and trays overlooking a large public atrium. The open “amphitheater,” provides a flexible venue for exhibitions and public performances such as “hyangga,” mask plays, puppet shows, “p’ansori,” and other forms of traditional/contemporary oral literature. The smaller tower volume with a special reading room and preservation studios at the lower entrance/mezzanine level, offers protected access to rare collections of “idu” early transcription systems, early Korean literature in Chinese, and important works in Hangul. To the south, 1,500m2 of landscaped grounds is strategically preserved for future expansion with direct access to the rare books collection and preservation Studios. Connecting the two “cultural storehouse towers” is a centrally located restaurant with an outdoor terrace/performance venue facing Gijachon Park, hovering above the multipurpose hall and Education Wing offering programming and venue for institutions, schools, clubs and the neighboring art village and residents.
The NMKL is not only a state-of-the-art facility with both physical and virtual support programming and capabilities, but a constantly evolving institution celebrating the sharing and passing of knowledge to future generations. The NMKL will not only become a cultural anchor for all of Korea but a dynamic global cultural beacon at the forefront of the 21st century and beyond.
JX Canal Museum
JX Canal Museum
The Grand Canal, the longest canal in the world starting from the old capital of Beijing to the Summer Capital of Hangzhou, runs 1,776km and links the Yellow and Yangtze River inspiring many who navigated and witnessed the enormous engineering feat throughout history.
The Grand Canal has advanced and prolonged the indigenous and economic growth of China’s urban centers from the Sui period to the present, the oldest parts of the canal dating back to the 5th Century BCE. Our museum takes inspiration of the traditional ships and arched bridges that ferried and spanned the Grand Canal and the local culture that flourished along the Jiangnan section, south of the Yangtze river, still used to ferry goods and materials along this busy route.
A series of large, enormous, sustainably forested glulam arched beams are placed floating on the site on an North/South axis, pinned together reminiscent of ship hulls busily passing each other, where the varying and staggered infill gallery slabs, and roof truss framing act as tension resisting ties for structural integrity. The museum’s main circulation and entrances run horizontally on this North/South axis where one can visit the museum from the canal and boat dock on the South and from the “Museum Canal” or public basement hall accessed through a large chamfered and sloping entrance ramp at the North Entrance. The large expansive “Museum Canal” contains temporary galleries, shops and children’s workshops and becomes the circulation spine to allow for navigation into the individual floating halls that house an auditorium and varying thematic galleries from strategically placed vertical circulation cores.
Once above ground, views of the passing ships on the canal can be seen from the floating galleries above the large reflecting pool on the plaza. A single pedestrian bridge spans over the pool and the heavily trafficked Binhe road adjacent our site, giving panoramic views of the canal and the famous Changhong bridge while spiraling down to connect to a series of tree lined pedestrian paths and bridges connecting the famous bridge to the new museum.
The Museum of Islamic Art Park is a redevelopment project of the 24-hectare man-made, landfill surrounding I. M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art (2008 – Hiroshi Okamoto, Designer, Site representative, Construction Administration) in Doha, Qatar.
Anchored by a specially commissioned, site specific 79ft sculpture by Richard Serra, the park’s 5-hectare peninsula is programmed with restaurants, kiosks and leisure amenities terminating the redevelopment of the Doha corniche, and the prominent urban sea lined green belt into a cultural public park, accessible and open 24 hours to all visitors and families in the capital city of Doha.
The black granite pier designed for the Serra sculpture, a monolithic chamfered parallelogram, terminates a palm lined allee cove, creating a majestic backdrop to the Museum of Islamic Art providing panoramic views of the entire Doha Bay and rapidly transforming skyline. The pier cantilevers 249ft on its side, over the water, creating an innate tension between the verticality of the sculpture and the horizontality of the pier. Inaugurated in December 2011, the sculpture commemoration celebrated Doha as the 2011 Cultural Capital of the Middle East.
Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province or “Heavenly State” (Tian Fu Zhi Guo), is located west of the Sichuan Basin and in the center of the Chengdu Plain. The site is located at the intersection of Tian Fu Square and Tian Fu Avenue in Shuangliu, Chengdu, around 20km from the city center.
The Chengdu Silk Art Culture (CSAC) Park establishes a new typology that reaches back to the tradition and origins of Chengdu as a settlement and a city. Within the irregular linear boundaries of the site, the park flows from East to West along the subtle changes of the existing topography, binding seamlessly the varying scales of buildings in varying sectional relationships. The office and commercial plaza on the South Hongxing Avenue to the East gradually transforms into a quiet residential development to the West. A green area North of the residential sector creates a landscape that flows into the surrounding fertile hills of an urban esplanade and to a park plaza on the Southeastern end of the site. In the opposing direction, commercial retail space circulates inhabitants and visitors from the taller, larger complexes in the Northwest to the small-scale retail and office typologies in the Southeast.
Responding to the neighboring residential high-rises about the site, an urban plaza along the park serves as a buffer for optimal sun exposure and circulation throughout the year. A tree-lined pedestrian street in the scale of the old courtyards of Chengdu lines the southern edge of the site, upon which is the Chengdu Silk Art Cultural Museum, at the confluence of all programmatic and topographic currents.
Haidao Silk Art Culture Park
Haidao Silk Art Culture Park
Located in Haina, China, about 15km from downtown Haikou, the project responds to the Qiongzhou Straight in which it is situated, the surrounding Wuyuan River Forest Park and the bisecting Central Park. From the onset, volumetric studies of the Haido Silk Art Cultural Park proved invaluable for creating a singular identity from the multiplicity of programmatic elements.
The office towers, hotels and boutique formally resulted from the stacking of individual slabs in relativity to each other and to site zoning, views, and solar orientation. The slabs were expressed on the facade as bands, reminiscent of threads of silk, disclosing the process in the design. In the gradual shortening and lengthening of the white aluminum bands, deep eaves are created, shading against sun exposure and promoting passive cooling. From the Silk Museum to the Special Silk Retail the thread is “woven” between the individual programs, pushing and pulling, shaping terraced landscapes and enveloping a central green courtyard within.