Overseas NO.77: Zheming Cai

The No.42 episode is about Zheming Cai who graduated from Harvard and is now working for OLIN.

Project Specs

海外存知己,天涯若比邻。

在海外专辑分享海外华人的故事。希望这份分享可以让世界更加海阔天空。

第四十二期为您奉上的是毕业于哈佛,在OLIN工作的蔡哲铭。

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为什么出国?
Why go abroad?

高中时偏科严重成绩不好,当时出国算是一种出路。初中开始一直想学景观设计,但是作为文科生没法在国内选择属于理工科的景观或者园林专业,于是就高三出国在美国‘高考’的。

I was not very competitive in China in terms of Gaokao. Also, I was a liberal arts student in high school, who could not apply for landscape architecture which was considered a science/engineering major.

 

在国外遇到了什么让你印象最深刻的事情?
Is there anything happened impressed you the most abroad?

在各种文化差异的冲击和混乱下,反而能让人静下来,加深了对自己的认识。本科时候喜欢上徒步,一直是学校户外俱乐部的成员,每个假期都会去徒步感受不同的自然景观;在沙漠里看过银河,也在雾气弥漫的清晨邂逅过巨大的麋鹿。

Studying aboard sets a different cultural context, and strangely it helps someone to rediscover oneself. I was in the outdoor club in undergrad, and i have backpacked quite a bit, and enjoyed seeing the different landscapes.

 

最想念祖国的什么?
What do you miss the most about China?

家人,归属感和食物吧。
举个例子,湖北许多应季食物都具有一期一会的特性,因此从小对于吃的有种特别的期待。十堰产一种中国的本土樱桃(莺桃 Prunus pseudocerausus), 上市的时间只有4月底5月初的两个星期左右,因为无法保存无法长途运输又异常美味而显得弥足珍贵。在外地上学时候每到樱桃季节就开始疯狂想念。所以祖国是关于时间,地点,记忆和情感共同作用的一种无可避免的思念。

Family, a sense of belonging and food.
For instance, food in my hometown has strong sense of seasonality, and thus people will wait for a year for certain ingredient to be available. The waiting and expectation makes the food extra special. Therefore, the missing is about locality, time, remembrance, emotions and inevitable.

 

你会回国吗?为什么?
Will you come back? Why?

会的。希望有一天可以回国教书。

Yes, I would like to teach one day in China.

 

出国后在不同的背景下再看中国是否看得更清晰,有哪些感触?
Is it more distinct to view China in a different environment after going abroad? Any thought?

出国了得以跳出了国内大环境,能从一个新的角度了解认识中国。
但是看得是否清晰跟个人的阅历有关,出国只是多了一个角度而已。

Not necessarily. Studying aboard provides a different perspective, yet one’s judgment is dependent on his or her experience.

 

你的学校有哪些教育特点?
What are the educational characteristics of your school?

本科的普度大学是非常传统的工科学校,景观专业在农学院下,注重植物设计。
在哈佛读的是mla 2, 叫post-professional degree。 相比其他景观专业,自由度更大一些,方便选择自己感兴趣的研究方向。在学校的研究课题基本是文化景观相关的,选修的研究课程也大体相近:美学,氛围学,诗意施工,诗意种植,还有非物质文化遗产保护。哈佛是非常棒的资源平台,许多上课和讲座的老师都是专业历史上里程碑一样的人物。如果有非常明确的兴趣可以收获很多。另外,图书馆实在是太棒了。

My undergrad school Purdue was a traditional engineering school, and landscape studies were focused on planting design and botany. I studied MLA II at the GSD, and I was given enough freedom to choose what I’m interested. The GSD offered the best resources in terms of seminar instructors and lecture speakers. My favorite was the library resource, which was simply amazing.

▽Third Semester Core Studio

Third Semester Core Studio

 

你现在工作公司的特色和有趣的地方?
Can you discuss the characteristics of the company you are working for?

我现在就职于OLIN事务所,公司代表作有美国景观历史上重要的公共空间恢复项目布赖恩公园。公司的项目很多元,会有机会参与到许多不同类型的项目。近期和SANNA合作的Grace Farms刚建成开放。公司内最大的特色大概是有自己的图书馆和全职的图书管理员吧,图书馆包括了Laurie Olin捐赠的私人藏书,有许多绝版和初版书籍可以直接借阅。

I’m currently working at OLIN, which is well known for the design of Bryant Park. There’s a vast diversity in the project the office is working on, such as the recently opened Grace Farm, a collaboration with SANNA. OLIN has its won library and a full time librarian, and the library also holds Laurie Olin’s personal collection with many out-of-prints and first edition copies.

 

最喜欢的艺术家(绘画音乐电影等广泛范围)是谁?给你创作带来了什么影响?
Who is your favorite artist (in wider range such as art, music, movie)? What is the influence?

喜欢很多艺术家,每个时期的关注都不同,最近在看荷兰摄影师Ger Dekkers。经常会反复看和读Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy。

There are many artists I admire from time to time,currently I’m reading Dutch photographer Ger Dekker’s works. However, I often go back to Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy for inspirations.

 

觉得自己的作品集有哪些迷人的特质?
What amazing character do your works have?

比较传统吧, 某种意义上也很统一。每个项目的前期几乎都在图书馆里呆着,做很多背景(Context)研究。
因为选课时候方向比较明确,几个老师都是欧洲人,做的项目都是从一个非常大的地域尺度一直推敲一个座椅细节的尺度,非常有意思。

It’s traditional and coherent. I would spend lots of time researching and studying the context before conceptual design. There was a particular interest in selecting design studios, and as a result, most of my professors were Europeans, who asked us to design from a regional scale all the way to an object scale.

 

什么时候开始看谷德网的?欢迎你提出建议哦,谢谢。
When did you start to follow gooood? Any suggestions?

读研以后开始的,很喜欢艺术类和工业设计的介绍。数量不多但是能看出是精心选择了的。
希望不仅仅有在海外,也能有在国内专栏。

Sine grad school. I like the press on fine arts and industrial design, very thoughtfully selected projects. Would love to have a collection called “In China” as to “Overseas”.

 

 

WORK

 

 

01
景观框架对历史遗产保护的启发
-凡尔赛边缘的Pion废弃军营设想
Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation

项目场地是夹在凡尔赛园林和圣西尔城之间的废弃军营Pion。这片50英亩的土地在军营功能丧失的今天成了凡尔赛城和圣西尔城共有的荒废后院。狭长的三角形地块的两条长边分别代表了新城市边缘和世界文化遗产园林边缘。同时因为地块位于凡尔赛文化遗产的保护缓冲范围之内,受到许多规范的约束。课程对设计的内容没有要求,需要学生在解读场地,政府的报告和教科文组织的限定之后自己提出,有人做公园,有人做城市设计,也有人做植物园和花园。我希望通过设计做出一种尝试,文化景观保护如何能够称为城市发展的逻辑。通过景观框架作为城市形态的逻辑,在不破坏物质文化遗产的完整性的前提下满足邻近城市的发展需要。

期中在凡尔赛市政府给市长汇报设计,之后在实地勘测中拍摄了这些照片。亲临现场时,来自视觉,触觉,听觉的感知使前期的背景研究慢慢丰满起来,也导致了设计上的大改。这也是欧洲老师非常喜欢的教学方式,需要由设计者本身亲临现场后逐步调整设计,设计过程通过一种物理性的接触来加深对场地的理解。

Project site, the Barracks of Pion, locates in the middle between the Park of Versailles and the city of Saint-Cyr, was previously occupied for military purposes. Today, the 50-acre site becomes the backyard of both Versailles and Saint-Cyr. With an elongate triangular shape, the site represents a hinge between the historical landscape and the urban territory. The site is also within the UNESCO protection buffer, which implies many restrictions and limitation to the design. The studio asks students to analyze the site, understand the government’s and UNESCO’s report, and to come up with an individual proposal. The project seeks new ways to confront conservational issues: to envisage the development as part of evolving continuity of historically significant landscape logic.

I have taken these pictures during the site visit after the presentation at Versailles City Hall. Having the site inventory in situ provides an physical understanding which enriches the contextual research, and eventually leads to major changes in design.

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地域尺度的特性 Creating Identity of Place in the Regional Scale

在学习分析勒诺特的设计时发现凡尔赛的林荫道网络在一个地域尺度上系统性地串联了地理,水文,农业和城市的空间关系。中轴线的设计语言也因此可以不单单看作是王权的象征。由于凡尔赛的主轴线穿越了不同类型的生产景观,也因此成为了一个多种景观表现和生态表现的横断面。此外,以林荫道网络来看凡尔赛宫和凡尔赛的设计也可以发现勒诺特对凡尔赛的定义不仅仅局限于世界教科文组织设定的保护范围;凡尔赛的概念并不止于王宫和城墙内的园林,而是继续向外延伸,包括周边的森林,河流和农田的更大的一片范围:曾经最让巴黎人神往的乡下风光。

The analysis of Versailles reveals Le Notre’s axial allée system as a landscape framework that links between geography, hydrology, agrarian structures and urban forms in territorial scale. Furthermore, the framework in its axial expression did not merely represent monarchical power, but also demonstrated diverse ecological performances. The major axis essentially became a transect through various types of landscape and landscape performance. Additionally, the system illustrates potentials to expand the tourism beyond the Versailles’s boundaries that is defined by UNESCO.

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跳出场所尺度在地域尺度上解读场地,使场地成为凡尔赛景观逻辑的一部分,并更好地在地域尺度上解释了凡尔赛景观逻辑的历史重要性。在这样的宏观解读下,本项目的设计不再只是政府红线内的废军营改造,而是在历史景观中重新定义当代景观。此外对于凡尔赛景观的重新解读也可以帮助完善凡尔赛的旅游范围:游客对凡尔赛的参观也许不仅仅局限于王宫内的一天,而应该延伸到王宫围墙之外的乡下农业景观中。

The axial allée system provides the framework to situate the project on a territorial scale, articulating the historical significance in the regional scale for conservation. Therefore, designing the site becomes creating the landscape within the landscape. It is no longer a matter of constructing a site from tabula rasa, but rather of working with existed genius of the place, representing and reinterpreting the character of the pre-existence.

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场所尺度的特性 Creating Identity of Place in the Site Scale

凡尔赛园林影响了整个凡尔赛城市的形态和发展。在这个古典的范围下,我希望设计本身也能体现一种古典性。我的直觉是用古典的空间设计语言来融合两个完全不同的城市空间从而满足当代城市发展的需求。在现场勘查以后决定用实和虚来作为空间营造的主要方式。而实和虚的表现则通过非常具有欧洲及法国地域性的大尺度的乔木种植方式来实现。种植园在空间和体量上成为巨构来营造空间的框架,同时能够和谐地融入凡尔赛现有的空间肌理之中。

Versailles is often considered as the place of the invention of the classic city. My intuition to the project is to apply classical principles as a vernacular language, in order to design a coherent plan of creating two distinguished districts. My concept is to generate great contrast between mass and void with axial hierarchical alignment: Tree plantation constructs the framework to situate the design within Versailles’s historical landscape; two clearings are created within the framework, providing the voids for new development. Clearings from the early urbanization process can be seen as an extrusion of nature. However in this case, the clearing is an integral part of the regional landscape system. Additionally, each clearing provides opportunities to be designed as the prototype of urban forms. One clearing is designed as an urban area and the other one is designed as a residential area.

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植物种植能够产生类似于构筑物的体量。另外因为落叶乔木的季节性,夏季非常厚重的体量在冬天因为树叶落光可以转变成非常轻的体量,从而完成实和虚的一个转变。景观中不同类型不同功能的种植也会因为密度和植物形态不同而产生不同的空间形态,不同的种植组合也因而产生不同的空间体验。设计通过大尺度的种植来营造两个虚的空间作为不同的城市形态:花园城市的居住区和文化旅游为主的城市区。

Plantation is able to construction massing and volume similar to structures. The seasonality of deciduous planting also offers transition between mass and void from Summer to Winter. The morphology and spatial characters of different types of plantation provides different spatial experiences. Therefore, the plantation can construct the overall framework and articulate two clearings for very distinguish urban forms.

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花园城市 Residential Area

第一个城市形态是花园城市。由公共花园和私人花园的系统来营造空间结构。花园在大的景观框架内进一步强调与周围城市和凡尔赛园林的空间关系。

The concept is to design the networks of collective and public gardens as the framework for the residential area. The networks of gardens are connected through pedestrian paths, providing unique experiences for both the residences and the tourists, in which the difference of public and private becomes ambiguous in the field of gardens.

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漂浮城市 Urban Area

第二个城市形态是漂浮城市。凡尔赛的发展计划中有新建火车站。以新火车站作为一个节点来发展公共空间用来满足周边圣西尔城的需要。车站外的广场作为主要的公共场所和游客抵达后的首个开放空间,视觉效果非常重要。将广场抬升至二层,主要的道路和停车场放入一层,可以使广场本身称为行人为主的城市空间,并且与凡尔赛园林建立一个无障碍的视觉联系。以广场为轴线在两边布置文化,旅游商业相关的建筑体,也满足了周边居民和城市的发展需要。

The urban area is built around the new proposed train station. Providing a station plaza, the urban area is able to perform as the social core for the surrounding communities, providing spaces for retail, restaurants and local events. The plaza is raised up to level with the arriving floor of the train station, offering the visitor an unobstructed view across the space and into Versailles.

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02
创造新文化象征
-蒙特利尔后世博复兴
Towards a New Identity

2017年加拿大蒙特利尔即将引来67年世博的60周年纪念。67年世博主题是人类的创造力和未来,园区在圣劳伦斯河的人工岛上。世博园将被重新设计成为新的市民公园在2017年开放。设计课程初衷是为了设计后世博公园的入口用来迎接来自蒙特利尔的市民和游客。

实地考察之后发现后世博公园的人工岛距离蒙特利尔老城区和市中心还有一定距离,所以设计的重点转移到如何建立两个场地间的联系。通过对蒙特利尔的历史和公共空间分析,项目建议通过定义文化廊道,沿河廊道和商业廊道来链接蒙特利尔市内的主要开放空间,文化建筑,历史建筑最后连接到后世博公园。并建议在沿河廊道的码头空地上设计新的公园,作为在城市与人工岛中缺失的一个链接,满足新的文化和社会活动需求。

Montreal city is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Expo 67 by opening its Post Expo 67 Park in 2017. Acknowledging the disconnection between the expo site and the city, the design proposed a new cultural heritage corridor, connecting major cultural landmarks and tourist activities to the park. Additionally, new riverfront park was proposed to become the new social core, further to draw attentions to the post expo site.

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在规划一系列廊道后,项目的设计重点转移到公园设计上。沿河公园的空间结构通过蒙特利尔的城市肌理和后世博公园的轴线关系来确定。通过流线,植被设计和活动设计,公园以流线为主轴被切分成不同的公共空间。每一个空间以城市天际线或者后世博公园标志物为背景,以户外剧场的空间模式呈现。参观者参观时,蒙特利尔不同类型的城市景观沿流线逐一呈现,最后参观者通过人行桥被引导到后世博公园中。沿河公园中最大的空间也为蒙特利尔市急需场地的艺术节和音乐节提供了平台。

The spatial structure of the riverfront park is determined by the fabric of the Montreal city and the central axis of the new expo 67 park. Through circulation, planting design, and programming, the park is divided into different performing spaces linked through the main path. Each space is able to amplify its theatricality by framing either the skyline of the city or the iconic structure of the expo 67 park. Visitor experience an unfolding of the Montreal urban landscape by walking through the main path. The park’s major public space also fulfills the city’s need to host art festival and indy festival.

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平的诗学 Poetics of Horizontality

桦树花园是蒙特利尔沿河公园中的一个元素。在选修施工的诗学课时把这个花园作了进一步深化,来研究设计意图如何通过构造来表现。

During a research seminar titled “The Poetics of Landscape Construction”, the birch garden, one component from the Montreal project, is further developed. The study essentially seeks to discuss the registration of initial concept through tectonic development. The projects is seeking ways to express the vision of multiplied horizons through studies of scale/ proportion and material construction.

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花园的设计概念来自现场勘探时候见到的原生白桦林。白桦纤细笔直的树干强调垂直方向的关系,大面积单调统一的垂直线同时又突出了地面的水平性。因此希望可以设计一个花园,通过推敲垂直线之间的比例尺度关系来对白桦林的空间体验做出一个抽象表现。同时由垂直线塑造的小尺度空间来完成相应尺度的活动。

The initial concept comes from seeing the native birch grove during the site visit in Montreal. The slim truck has a great sense of verticality, yet with the mass, the verticality articulates the horizontality of the plane. The research tries to abstract the vision of the birch grove, a sense of multiplied horizontality.

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03
机场景观墓地景观
-苏黎世机场墓地公园设计
Paradoxical Landscape

以效率,速度和经济作为最终目的而设计的机场被人称为航空大都市,一个微缩的城市形态。但是,以效率和商业为优先考虑的设计方式也造成了许多不人性的使用/等待空间。许多设计师都在探索更人性的机场设计。设计课围绕的是一块苏黎世机场候机厅外的空地来探索新的机场设计。和高效和快速的机场完全相反,我希望能做出完全对立的景观;因此墓地,最为时间体验和空间体验上最极端的反例成为了我的设计主题。同时,项目也通过介入一个完全矛盾的空间逻辑来探讨机场的休闲空间如何能够打破机场固有的航空大都会城市形态去融入到毗邻的城市形态中。

Airport has always been considered as one of the most efficient urban forms, the aerometropolis. However, the efficiency and commence driven design can lead to unhumanized waiting experience. An alternative for general airport design is needed. In this case, the project proposed a cemetery park, the most extreme form opposite to the accelerating nature of airport. By demonstrating a paradox as a liminal experiment, the project seeks new way of creating the recreation space not only for the airport but also for the surrounding community.

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墓地作为公共空间的同时,也能够表现多种不同的生态景观模式。不同的景观可以带来不同的使用功能和空间体验。对于墓地的环境再定义可以激活并扩大墓地作为公共空间的使用范围,从而同时满足机场乘客和周边居民的需求。机场墓地公园不仅仅成为机场的休闲空间,也称为地方的休闲空间,甚至可以成为一个旅游景点吸引来自更多地区的使用者。

Cemetery as a general public space, can also be integrated with different performing landscape. Different types of landscape offer various spatial functions and spatial experience. By redefining the cemetery landscape, the space can be activated to serve both the airport and the community and further beyond when it becomes an tourist destination.

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04
批判性历史保护
Preservation as Provocation

本科时的毕业设计是一个古建保护比赛,要求设计改造美国南卡查尔斯顿市的一个碉堡遗址,用于发展文化旅游产业。平克尼堡是南卡地区仅存的几个碉堡遗址之一,位于查尔斯顿入海口的小岛上。比赛原本要求将碉堡遗址改造成为博物馆来作为查尔斯顿历史文化旅游的景点之一。然而在对遗址的地质环境和水文现状分析之后发现对于碉堡最大的危害来自于岛屿本身的水土流失。建筑历史保护往往只对构筑物本身进行恢复和再利用,却经常忽视构筑物本身所在的环境。即使能够对碉堡进行修复和再利用,当碉堡所在的岛屿不复存在时候,只针对建筑的保护便毫无意义。

The last project from my undergraduate study is an architectural preservation competition by AIA. It asks to redesign a ruined fortification in Charleston, SC for cultural tourism. The fort, called Castle Pinckney is one of the remaining forts in SC, locating on a small island near Charleston. The site analysis reveals that the most significant threat to the architecture is from the erosion of the island. The architectural historical preservation often ignores the landscape but only focus on the preservation of the architecture.The restoration and rehabilitation of the fort won’t help the island getting washed away over time.

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在从景观的角度从场所和地域尺度对碉堡遗址解读后, 平克宁堡本身的历史意义被重新定义。分析图标注了历史时期所有碉堡的位置,查尔斯顿入海口的防御网络以火炮的攻击范围为单位建立。平克尼堡正位于整个历史防御系统的正中心位置。现在,平克尼堡的位置又处于查尔斯顿水上活动的中心位置,碉堡和整个岛屿提供了最好的观赏和休闲的平台。

Additionally, the site analysis reveals the cultural and historical significance of the Castle Pinckney as the heart of the historical defense system, as well as today’s core of water activities.

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通过生态驳岸的做法对平克尼碉堡所在的岛屿进行水土流失治理,同时用生蚝养殖来稳定岛屿的水岸生态系统。随时间和潮汐的作用,岛屿本身会形成新的形态,更接近于岛屿原始的自然环境。项目批判了传统历史保护中死板的构筑物结构和外观保护: 历史文化保护不应该局限于建筑,而应该包括建筑所处的自然和文化环境。通过景观设计可以更系统地完善历史保护的完整性。

Propose ecological restoration methods to stabilize the shore, and introduce oyster reef to stabilized island’s ecosystem. The island will nourish over time through landscape preservation efforts. The project criticize the static approach of the traditional historical preservation, merely focusing on the object but ignoring the context where the object situated. Landscape architecture provides a more systematic approach to preserve the integrity of historical significance in preservation.

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When:  2007 to present
Where: Indiana,Massachusetts,Pennsylvania
Name: Zheming Cai 蔡哲铭
From: Shiyan, Hubei Province
School & Office:
Purdue University
Harvard University
OLIN
Contact: tarocai@gmail.com

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