Haimen is located in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, bordering the Yellow Sea in the east and the Yangtze River in the south, looking across the river from Shanghai. It is named after the “Gateway to the River and the Sea” and is the hinterland of Wu-Yue culture and the original home of Chinese rice culture, where the Haimen Yungu Agricultural Complex is located. Like the influx of investors and architects into the countryside in recent years, the project’s design team was faced with the historic question of returning to the local area or pioneering innovation.
Intertextuality of square warehouse and round granary
The Agricultural Exhibition Center is located in the southernmost part of China’s first eco-farm, Haimen Chunfeng Lantian Town, surrounded by interlocking roads and dense water network, with unique landscape resources. It is also the leading building and spiritual center of the town. The architectural motif is taken from the image of “granary” of farming civilization, and its appearance is like a square box lying in the field, simple and atmospheric; the internal core is a round silo, which means “square granary and round granary”, implying not only “the granary is solid and knows The internal core is a circular silo with the meaning of “square silo and round granary”, which implies the legalistic philosophy of “the granary is solid and knows the etiquette, the food and clothing is sufficient and knows the honor and shame”, and also fits with the construction of spiritual civilization in the new era.
The proposal breaks away from the conventional concept of “layers”: the four concrete boxes that rise around the atrium hide the main load-bearing elements inside the rotating space; the folding roof panels form the large window openings on the top floor, achieving the purity of the building form and space. The traditional regional culture and modern lifestyle meet here.
The Linkage of Seed Journey
The project team tried to encapsulate the vastness of nature in the core of the building. Therefore, the proposal maximizes the “footprint” of this “field barn” and excavates a four-story circular blow-out space at its center. The circular silo is brought in for natural light and ventilation, and as a seed museum, it provides a place for public display, communication, and sharing, naturally becoming the spiritual core of the entire building. In the white square box, the mortise and tenon structure of the silo dissolves the “divinity” of the space with the color and touch of old wood, making the barn warm and approachable.
A rotating open staircase connects the various functions of the building vertically. Visitors walk up the stairs as if on a carefully choreographed “seed journey”, and their inner desire to see and explore is constantly stimulated. At the same time, the two sets of indoor and outdoor staircases form a parallel and co-existing viewing line, and the stairway platform provides a panoramic view of the garden, the surrounding buildings and the internal activities of the Agricultural Pavilion. Visitors can enter the demonstration area and agricultural exhibition area directly from the west exit of the pavilion through the landscape bridge on the artificial water system, or reach the planned commercial street on the north side of the pavilion through the second floor platform – a practice of the “double first floor” commercial street model in the town. This is a practice of the “double first floor” commercial street model in the town.
The orderliness of virtual and real space
The building is simple in form and light in skin, the bottom is pure glass, while the outer skin is made of UHPC, which has high strength and durability. This low porosity material is as warm as jade, which can highlight the shape and lines of the building itself, with sharp angles from a distance, but soft and hazy from a close view, and a vague sense of transparency blurring the boundary between the building and the environment. It forms a visual contrast with the glass curtain wall at the bottom, vividly interpreting the relationship between enclosure and connection, closure and permeability.
The roof takes the slanting roof of a barn, and after the array of columns, the form of wind-blown wheat waves is obtained. The window openings in the skin composition are repeatedly refined by the design team, and they all correspond to important indoor spaces and face the best outdoor view direction. The hollow skin and windows bring light and shadow into the interior space, creating a rich sensory experience and invisibly expanding the physical space of the building. The seemingly closed and introverted building gives people the opportunity to participate in the organic growth of the environment through the communication and interaction between the interior and exterior.
In today’s comprehensive revival of traditional culture, the design team upholds a dialectical and critical attitude, neither towards the narrow regionalism of nostalgia and retro, nor does it blindly follow internationalism under the general trend of globalization, but builds a poetic dwelling among the idyllic paths, recovers the wisdom gene in the heritage of Wu-Yue, and completes the practice of critical regionalism with a spiritual place for storing culture, resting emotions and gathering values.
|Project Name||Haimen Yungu Agricultural Exhibition Hall|
|Project Location||Jiangsu, Nantong|
|Detailed Address||Haichuang Road, Haimen District, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province|
|Project type||Cultural display|
|Completion date||April 2021|
|Design Unit||gad Design|
|Project Director||Zhang Wei|
|Project creator||Zhang Wei, Tang Fengqi, Xu Jie|
|Architecture||Tang Fengqi, Xu Jie, Ni Zehui, Liu Yangyu, Jiang Zhengjie, Liu Shilong, Chu Jianzhou, Liu Yuan, Shi Jitao, Zhao Yantao|
|Structure||Yang Fan, Huang Yongchun|
|Water supply and drainage||Jiang Yunlong|
|Interior Design||Nei Architecture Design Office|
|Owner||Nantong Lancheng Citizen Real Estate Development Co.|
|Photography||Architectural translator – Yao Li|
Editing and translation: @Ibo, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company
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