A facility ineligible to remain in the core of the sites, yet stands as a monument for a centurial campaign of Liangzhu archaeology studies
The newly acceptance of Liangzhu heritage sites into the World Cultural Heritage List has led to further confirmation of China’s refulgent 5000 years of history inheritance as Liangzhu is substantiated a civilization that is over 51 centuries old. It is nothing but a miracle that the campaign of archaeology studies and excavation conducted at Liangzhu heritage sites has persisted and passed down through generations over nearly a century since modern archaeology was introduced to China. Yet inevitably, residences and facilities rouse and flourished throughout the surroundings of the heritage site in the process of ascending awareness and recognition of its importance. Around the year 2006, The core of Liangzhu heritage sites received a promotion to a National Cultural Heritage Park corresponding to the successful substantiation in regards to urban morphology and large-scale water conservancy facilities of Liangzhu city, revealing the splendid ancient metropolis to the public for the first time.
The post in-depth research capability is a crucial criterion of the World Cultural Heritage candidate assessment which requires modern facilities as a solid platform. With Liangzhu heritage site still being under-excavated in its current state, it is scheduled to be undergone further archaeological work in the long run. Renovating the existing industrial facilities in the core of the site has not only the benefit of compressing the construction time to meet investigation schedules for the World Heritage List application, but also providing a solution for the project to site as close to the core as possible without potential massive soil excavation.
▼遗址保护与监测中心远景鸟瞰图，distant bird-eye’s view of the Preservation and Monitor Center © 奥观摄影
Located south to Mojiaoshan Palace ruins, 3km west to Liangzhu Museum and adjacent to the south entrance of the Heritage Reserve, Zhonglian Huaneng can serve as an on-site workstation as well as maintaining a convenient partnership with the research facilities of the original museum. The plant will thrive to witness and even participate in the coming excavation and research, and showcasing the contemporary archaeology achievements of China as a monument for a centurial campaign of Liangzhu archaeology studies.
▼遗址保护与监测中心鸟瞰图近景，毗邻遗址公园的南入口，close bird-eye’s view of the Preservation and Monitor Center that is adjacent to the south entrance of the Heritage Reserve © 奥观摄影
Time is the essence
▼功能分区，the functional zones
The research facilities must complete all operational stress testing before UNESCO experts make the investigation, rendering the limited construction schedule to be the biggest challenge for the project. The tight schedule leads to infeasibility of risking abnormal structures or complex construction systems with limited resources while dooming the possibility of manipulating the structure and construction conditions the way we wished. Nevertheless, we manage to extract a clear and even straightforward essence after figuring out what is viable and what is not, of whose validity roots in the site, the history, the tectonics and a common ground forged by all who are involved in the world heritage list application, a levitating jade patio. The antique texture of jade reflects the desolated atmosphere of a time-forsaken ruin, evoking memories from the past with virtues refined by age. Soaked in the antique atmosphere carved into the texture of jade, one shall come across the essence of time that flows from past into the future. As years pass by, dust and stain on the surface of jade, as well as growing shadows of vegetation will add extra layers of precipitation to the project.
▼遗址保护与监测中心鸟瞰图近景，用玉石古拙的质感回应遗址被时光涤荡的苍凉萧瑟的氛围，bird-eye’s view of the Preservation and Monitor Center, the antique texture of jade reflects the desolated atmosphere of a time-forsaken ruin © 奥观摄影
Hierarchy, Practicality and Rationality
Hierarchy——sequence of forms feasible of construction reality
▼形体调整，the adjustment of the form
Rectilinear form stands out as the most practical tectonic approach which denotes unified moduli, concise structure joints and minimal irregular parts. In this case the façades require only partial demolition while the volumes join as a gestalt and all building components come prefabricated and standardized. Most importantly, the EPC workflow enables the engineering department plan out the construction schedule with considerable fault tolerance to ensure a safe completion date.
▼学术会议中心外观，采用方盒子的建筑形式，整体具有玉石质感，exterior view of the academic conference hall in the form of the rectangle, the volume presents a holistic texture of authentic jade © 直译建筑
▼学术会议中心主入口广场，main entrance of the academic conference hall © 奥观摄影
▼建筑体量外观局部，统一的模数形成建构的秩序，partial exterior view of the project, the unified moduli articulates a tectonic hierarchy © 直译建筑
Practicality——a functional façade design
▼立面划分，the division of the facade
It is our belief that building façades should bear not only sculptural textures for aesthetic pleasure but also practical functions which play with light and shadow to be more than a mere mask. The main material of choice must exceed at delivering potential significance and customizing transparency ratio so that interior lighting dissolves evenly while sight permeability is negated for confidential archaeology studies inside.
▼后勤服务中心，立面具有可调节的透光性，logistics service center with customizing transparency ratio © 奥观摄影
▼室内灯光与玉石玻璃，interior illumination through the jade glazing © 奥观摄影
▼黄昏中的后勤服务中心，the exterior view of the logistics service center at dusk © 直译建筑
Rationality——non-idealized strategies of adaptive reuse
A streamlined functional layout with high efficiency is the end goal of our project. The original eight factories varied in ages and structures. The possibility that they might be situated on the remains of the ancient bauxite walls leads to strict restrictions on the excavation for the foundation. The unmovable high-voltage grids crossing the site renders the scaffolding construction process unfeasible for two of the factories but to turn into warehouses. Despite all the difficulties, the scheme manages to allocate six major functions, namely conference, data monitoring, laboratories, operation support, dormitory and relic warehouse, into various units to make full use of the original layout and volume and minimize the foundation construction and duration of archaeological intervention.
▼剖面图，将学术会议、遗址信息监测、考古实验室、遗址公园运营辅助、宿舍和文物整理仓库六大类功能合理地安置于不同的单体内，确保基础施工量最小，sections, allocating six major functions, namely conference, data monitoring, laboratories, operation support, dormitory and relic warehouse, into various units to minimize the foundation construction
Industrial or Domestic
During interior design phase, the industrial and chic architectural style that the design team envisions met negative reception by the majority of the archaeology research facility staff at a reporting session, after which the team were invited to experience the daily life of an archaeology researcher by the manager of the institute. It was a memorable journey. The staff dwelled in seclusion, isolated from the world as if they live in the uninhabited mountains. They take the institute as their second home, rarely return to their downtown residence. Each member manages their own lab to study a variety of excavated items respectively and independently, while lives as a big family united and supportive of each other. The institute is but a transfer station for the visitors, yet a terminal for them.
▼监测中心外观，减低屋顶高度，保留原有工厂屋架，exterior view of the monitoring center, reducing its ceiling height while preserving the roof truss © 直译建筑
▼监测中心外观局部，向外呈现工业结构，partial exterior view of the monitoring center, industrial tectonics are exposed to exterior © 直译建筑
▼监测中心中庭，工业结构清晰可见，the atrium of the monitor center with a series of clear industrial elements © 直译建筑
The final interior design utilizes a selection of timberwork in a traditional Chinese tectonic fashion rather than deliberately express the industrial aesthetics which highlights the sheer existence of volume and structure. A portion of the loft spaces are floored and turned into spaces like mini cinema and café for the staff to spend their leisure time. They even manage to cultivate some vegetation and plant vines onto the pillars in the patio with comfortable armchairs underneath. The researchers maintain the facilities in such an affectionate manner as if it is their own home. The design team truly wishes them dwell a lasting and enjoyable life, further uncovering the mystery of Liangzhu civilization in their many years to come.
▼监测中心室内，选择了大量的仿木材料和相对古典的营造方式，the interior of the monitor center, utilizing a selection of timber work in a traditional Chinese tectonic fashion © 直译建筑
Half reality, half poetry
▼大理石主痕（浅）与增加玉石矿石结构细节后的对比1，the primary marble pattern details (light) 1 compared to that of an underlying mineral structure of jade added on
▼大理石主痕（浅）与增加玉石矿石结构细节后的对比2，the primary marble pattern details (light) 2 compared to that of an underlying mineral structure of jade added on
▼矿石结构细节，details of mineral structure
After the manufacturer along with yielding capacity and prices are determined, texture design rises as the most challenging technical difficulty we’ve yet to overcome. With the properties of surface reflectivity and layered mineral structure of natural jade, it hardly suffices to replicate them with lasing scanning or high-resolution photography, nor to find out a continuous texture that matches the scale of a multistory building. Thus, the team chooses to draw our own ‘jade’, in whose vision the stone fuses sky and cloud in a desolate atmosphere blending into the site with a dramatic gesture that reflects the surrounding context. The texture, while continuous and fluid as streaming water, has its flaws and imperfect sediments with clear traces of discrete fissures and veins under a closer observation. The jade is composed half of reality and half of poetry.
Our team gradually masters the technique of texture painting with a superimposing approach to realize the desired concept in a consecutive process of template experiments. To start with, the foundation is a milky white base with a 50% transmittance to set the tone and blur the boundaries of building and built environment. The layer that follows presents the primary texture of a dark brown sediment pattern inspired from marble with mineral impurities that is continuous and intact on each side of the building envelope. Lastly the top layer mimics the underlying mineral structure of what real jade possesses. The discrete and randomly repetitive veins and rippled sediment gift the material an authentic physical texture of jade. The designing procedure can be best described as creating an ink painting on a translucent jade paper, on which ink trails trace and render with simplicity and ambiguity.
▼玉石纹理局部，detail of the jade texture © 直译建筑
Jade to form ‘Jade’—— Monumentality of monolith
What should be our major façade material of choice? The luxury hot-melt laminated transparent stone, the jade glazing which could not achieve mass production at the moment, or even the anodized aluminum plates were excluded from the list by our team. Aside from obvious reasons of cost and yielding capacity, they fail to achieve continuous texture design and customizable translucency attributes. The commemoration nature of the monolith is achieved both by the hierarchy of collectivity and the geometry of individuality to distinguish itself from the realm of sculpture and painting. In this case, the design team tried a ceramic ink printing glass technique that just came into mass-production in China.
▼玉石玻璃具有良好的透光性，jade glazing with fine transmittance © 直译建筑
▼玉石玻璃与植物的剪影，silhouette of vegetation on the jade glazing © 王任
▼一层平面图，first floor plan
Chief Architect: Fang Ye
Schematic Design: Wang Ren, Yingwang Bo, Yang Haiting
(Architecture) Fang Liang, Zhu Zhigao, Gao Yanfei, Wang Ren
(Structure) Liang Wei, Li Xu
(HVAC design) Wen Wu, Zhang Xuetao
(Water supply and drainage design) Zhong Rong, Xu Lei
(Electrical design) Zhao Baoqi
EPC: Chen Wenxian, Xu Bin, Du Dongzhi, Qi Xiaoxiang, Fang Yuanhua, Jiang Chaochao
Interior Design: YASHA Interior
Landscape Design: Zhongben Landscape Studio
Curtain Wall Design: Zhongnan Curtain Wall