文 / Text: Carlos Castanheira
宛若游龙 | Like a Dragon
Like a coiled, sleeping dragon, this office building floats on the water of the lake, which is also the dam for the Shihlien Chemical Industrial factory in Huai’an, Jiangsu province, PRC. The idea of placing the main office building on water was implicit in the master plan for the factory, as this primarily chemical industry needs a reservoir to ensure its permanent, constant production.
▼项目概览，preview © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
The curved shape of the volume, accessed across two bridges, makes it seem to move as one approach and moves away.
▼水上连桥，the connecting bridges © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼场地平面图，site plan © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
The extremely simple organization is distributed on two levels: the main entrance is on the east side, where the central foyer provides access to the work area in a south- facing unit, with another north-facing unit for the social and exhibition zones. The service entrance, restaurant and kitchen areas all face north. The administration zones and facilities of the associate companies are on the upper floor.
▼鸟瞰：曲线型的体量可以通过两座连桥进入 © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
Aerial view: the curved shape of the volume, accessed across two bridges
▼曲线型体量内部，inside the curved shape © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼办公空间，office area © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
The highlights of the main body include the volumes for the special zones such as the meeting rooms and the auditorium. Stairs, bridges and a ramped bridge facilitate accessibility, functionality and circulation between the spaces.
▼连廊，the connecting corridor © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼坡道，the ramp © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼隧道，the tunnel © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼隧道舷窗，the porthole © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
White concrete, aluminum/wood window frames and glass characterize the materiality of the building in contrast to the fluidity of the water body that supports it.
▼从室外走廊望向建筑，view from the outdoor gallery © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
The building moves, always displaying its different forms with controlled elegance, exposed to light and shadows, with changing colors and reflections. As architecture should it be.
▼夜景，night view © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
雕塑与建筑师 | SCULPTURE AND THE ARCHITECT
At one time the great artists were masters of many arts and did not differentiate between the fine arts nor specialize in any one in particular. They were interested in all the arts. They worked in them all.
I am thinking in particular about those forms of art that relate to space. The control of space, the way it is used, how it is perceived, how it is felt, how it is.
▼从室外走廊望向办公区，view towards the office from the outdoor gallery © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
Architecture must be sculpture, just as sculpture is architecture, in the sense that it transforms space. It can enhance urban space, making it more beautiful, more perceptible. Giving it scale. Sometimes grandeur. Sometimes beauty.
The idea that sculpture is something independent or that architecture is purely something technical is an error of the times we live in, obsessed as we are by speed and specialization.
▼远观建筑，distant view to the architecture © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
There is something of the Renaissance Man in Álvaro Siza, in his wish to create sculpture, to draw and to write. This will to explore beauty is revealed as an essential complement to his controlling of space and giving of form to temporal space. Approaching the main office building of the Shihlien factory, below the mass of the volume that marks the entrance, three figures await us with their curvilinear forms running in various directions.
▼俯瞰入口连桥，aerial view to the entry bridge © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
They receive us. They greet us. Like a tribute to someone arriving. Or leaving. They control anyone who approaches, dominating the space, creating hierarchies, shadows, reflections, dimension and overall, architecture.
▼泛舟，boating © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
Inside, another sculpture marks a special thing: the “Friendship” between the people who contributed to make the realization of all those spaces and activities possible. Friendship is symbolically immortalized in two pieces of marble wound together in an elegant gesture, in an embrace, but also in a gesture of respect. Mutual.
▼中庭，atrium © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
Now that the sculpture is there in the architecture, we can see that it was always there. This can be found by analyzing the sketches, the drawings, the models, the details, the materials.
▼室内交通空间，circulation area © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼会议室，meeting room © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼礼堂，auditorium © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
Should the architect not also be a sculptor? As it used to be when there was no specialization?
▼连桥顶视图，connecting bridge rooftop view © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼夜景，night view © Fernando Guerra|FG+SG
▼模型，model © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼工业园总平面，industrial site plan © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼二层平面图，first floor plan © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼三层平面图，roof plan © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼立面图，elevations © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
▼剖面图，sections © Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
THE BUILDING ON THE WATER – SHIHLIEN CHEMICAL
Client: Por-Shih Lin, Chairman, Shihlien Chemical Industrial Jiangsu Co.
Location: Huai’an City, Jiangsu , China
Project: 2010 – 2014
Construction: 2011 – 2014
Lake Area: 103 000 m2
Total Building Area: 14.000 m2
Bridges Area: 5000m2
. White concrete walls and slabs.
. Glass windows and doors.
. Stone pavement in the 1st floor balconies.
. Green Roof.
. Foyer: Stone pavement. Painted wood wall panelling (Zoccolo). Gyspum board walls and ceilings.
. Conference Room: Wood pavement. Painted wood wall panelling(Zoccolo). Gyspum board walls and ceilings.
. Restaurant: Stone pavement. Painted wood wall panelling (Zoccolo). Gyspum board walls and ceilings.
. Office area: Carpet pavement. Painted wood wall panelling (Zoccolo). Gyspum board walls and ceilings.
. Toilets: Stone pavement. Stone wall panelling(Zoccolo). Gyspum board walls and ceilings.
. Doors: Painted wood, glass.
Architects: Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
Portugal’s Office: CC&CB – Arquitectos Lda.
Principals in charge:
1st phase (preliminary project) – Pedro Carvalho, Luís Reis
2st phase (execution project) – Luís Reis
Collaborators: Diana Vasconcelos, Susana Oliveira, Elisabete Queirós,
Orlando Sousa, Rita Ferreira, João Figueiredo, Caitriona, Carolina Leite, Anand Sonecha.
3d models/renders: Francesco Sechi, João Figueiredo, Pedro Afonso, José Soares.
Creative Integration Consultant: Xue Xue Institute, Xue Xue Foundation
Project management & Construction supervision: Stephen Wang & Richard Wang with Chiou-Huei Lin (WZWX Architecture Group)
Local Permit Architects and Engineers: United Architects & Engineers Co., Ltd
Shanghai Qingya Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Co. (HVAC, electrical, plumbing, telecommunications and security installation)
RFR Shanghai (Stuctural review)
Geberit China (Water drainage)
Construction company: Zhejiang Urban Construction Group
Consultants: HDP – Paulo Fidalgo (Structure)
GET – Raul Bessa (Mechanical)
GPIC – Alexandre Martins (Lighting)
SIKA – Helena Beleza (Waterproofing of the concrete construction)
Photography: Fernando Guerra|FG+SG|ultimasreportagens.com
Photography during construction time: Carlos Castanheira, Stephen Wang, Richard Wang, Luís Reis, Pedro Carvalho.