China | 2020
According to the law of “the negation of negation” in Hegel’s Science of Logic, the result of self-sublation is never nothing, but is characterized by new contents and forms. Such dialectic speculation forms the basic design logic for the building. The building sits in the core area of the flourishing new town of Suzhou. For the city, the building will be an experience center and a bookstore. But to the architects, being both a splendid city landmark and a modest humanistic site has characterized the building to be the carrier of conflicts and contradictions. To hide it into the 500,000 square meters of a titanic city complex, or to highlight its independent characteristics within the tiny 1800 square meters? As the first building amid the city complex turned from obsolete houses and farmlands, we expect it to stand out in the mess and pioneer in the new town. After the completion of the entire city complex project, we hope it can remain culturally unique and serve the local community. Rounds of explorations directed us to a delicately-cut crystal, which is naturally solid and soothing. Dividing the building horizontally into 2 parts, we faceted the upper part and battered the sliced facades by a vertical angle of 4-6 degrees toward the sky, while we make the lower part open and transparent and fit it into the human scale for better integration into the streets. Thus, both parts can naturally merge into the different stages of development of the new town. The Rose Cut, one of the diamond faceting method in the Renaissance, inspired the combinations of inlaid triangles. The apexes of each triangle glass are tilted in with a specific angle, forming the slight ups and downs on the exterior and reflecting the daily and seasonal variations of the sunlight. However, challenges arose during the construction of this specially designed curtain wall, for example, the stress problem of the apexes that increases the fragility of the glass, and the flattening of the large glass panels sized 5m*1.8m. After systematic research and close collaboration, the unique diamond-like exterior took shape eventually.
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