Shanghai PTArchitects: Second Award of World Design Awards 2020. The project is situated in the south of Yuyao city with Zhongshan River, the tributary of Zuiliang River, to its west, and the beautiful Siming Mountain to its south. The building embraced by such abundant natural resources is created.
As people are wandering in the Cultural Mansion, a series of spaces in order will come into view. The sequence of architectural spaces is constantly altering and ubiquitous. Continuous “living and visiting” spaces are arranged, dotted with “sitting” spaces, making the architecture an immersive stage with rich changes. “Frame views” in settings and decoration are the “lens” we placed meticulously. The journey of discovery never ends no matter how those “lens” is adjusted.
The minimalistic expression is to endow the residence with the flexibility of water and the magnificence of the mountain. With undulating mountains of Siming that create a natural backdrop for the project, the architecture welcomes the wall, courtyard, and pool, exactly forming a desirable idyllic environment.
All elements are inspired by the landscape of continuous distant mountains, including the horizontally extended stone wall, pavilion extruding from the courtyard, undulating roof raised in opposite directions, and sculpture at the pool. With the asymmetric tension, the architecture presents a mysterious peace. Viewing the architecture at a distance, it shows rich visual effects varying with distances.
Compared with the traditional ritual and ceremonial buildings, the project is more reserved in design language. The horizontally extended stone wall is used to block sightlines, which brings a gradual revealing of views for stimulating imagination. A still water pool is arranged outside the building, which extends the interface to the water and enables visitors to see the imaginary pavilions in the sparkling water. When lamplight is on, its light from the narrow gaps of the stone wall is projected into the pool, which extends the light as well as space.
As the first sequence of architecture, the “Urban Living Room” looks like a cave as well as a room. It is a transition space open to the public around the clock. Inspired by the famous “Pianshi Garden”, it is designed to be a semi-open space with a roof but no door. Starting from the still water outside the wall, the transition space connects the inner courtyard for multiple uses. And an opening is created on the sidewall and a sitting area is set, facing the inner courtyard.
After the detour of the “Urban Living Room”, a veranda opposite the water courtyard comes into view.
The main building draws on the L-shaped layout, with an inner water feature enclosed by the building. A glass curtain wall on the long side completely shows the whole courtyard. On the short side, the “sitting area” is placed to enable visitors to appreciate the landscape or yard, where the swaying tree and the water add beauty to each other to present “dancing light and shadows”.
The continuous horizontal overhanging roof unifies the whole architecture group at a horizontal level. The extended spaces of the two-story platform intensify its sculptural form. Stars and clouds are reflected in the water courtyard. Skylights are embedded into the separated areas of the interior, allowing natural light to filter in and blend with indoor light. Standing beside the glass wall, people can enjoy some extraordinary landscape inadvertently.
Firm: Shanghai PTArchitects
Architects: Shao Xin
Category: Commercial Built
Project Location: Yuyao
Team: Shao Xin, Lu Bin, Chen Xi, Chen Fang, Gong Xue, Guo Zhidan, Zheng Shuo, Song Yangping, Lu Guohui, Zhao Ni, Ji Kai, Li Yang, Hou Xiangyi
Photography ©Credit: Basic image studio, Shrimp Studio