日常项目深度报道:崇明东滩湿地科研宣教中心

重型结构下的轻盈空间,在人与非人的环境中合谋未来

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gooood对一些机会和条件合适的项目推出深度报道,希望对项目进行更为立体的表达和展现。本次专辑带来的是 致正建筑工作室 设计的崇明东滩湿地科研宣教中心。更多关于他们,请至:Atelier Z+ on gooood

gooood would dig into projects which are appropriate for deeper report, in order to present the project in a more comprehensive way. In this episode, we interviewed Atelier Z+ for their project Wetland Research and Education Center inDongtan, Chongming, Shanghai. More: Atelier Z+ on gooood

出品人:向玲 | Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑:陈诺嘉,武晨曦,李诗蓉,周诗若,王玥莹 | Editor: Chen Nuojia, Wu Chenxi, Zhou Shiruo, Li Shirong, Wang Yueying

 

 

 

▼项目外观,external view of the project ©陈颢

 

 

 

致正建筑问答

Q&A with Atelier Z+

(Please scroll to the end of the article to see the English Q&A)

 

 

_____________
项目背景与设计策略
Background and Strategy

 

“这个项目注定要落在恢复后的湿地里。”

“The Research and Education Center was destined to be built on the reserved wetland.”

 

1. 项目是如何进行选址的?经历了怎样的过程后决定选址在水面上?建筑如何应对潮汐等自然变化?

崇明东滩湿地科研宣教中心不是一个独立的建筑项目,它是崇明东滩环境整治工程的一个组成部分。崇明东滩位于长江入海口,是一个潮汐滩涂湿地,一直在往东生长,每十年约长一公里,形成了一道道海堤。原本人们会在海堤之间围垦耕地。由于东滩位于咸淡水交界处,是亚太候鸟迁徙的必经之地,后来这里变成了一个鸟类的保护区。80年代为了稳固滩涂,引入了一种名叫互花米草的植物。没想到这种植物生长快,而且没有天敌,迅速长满了整个滩涂,导致湿地退化,鸟类失去了落脚的地方。2013年左右上海市园林绿化局开展了湿地修复行动,要消灭互花米草恢复湿地。具体的方式是在东滩围一圈新的海堤,把互花米草割掉后灌入海水,几个月后疏浚,重塑湿地与芦苇沙洲混合的地形。工程范围大概有二十多平方公里,湿地恢复后希望建立一个研究和学术交流的基地,展示东滩历史和环境整治的始末,提供主场研究和研讨活动的学术平台,以及有组织的公共教育。

▼项目鸟瞰,位于湿地中,aerial view of the project located in the middle of the wetland ©陈颢

这个项目注定要落在恢复后的湿地里。我们刚接触这个项目的时候,基地部分的整治工程还没有开始,只在南侧做了一片示范区,最后的周边环境,包括芦苇沙洲和水的疏密程度并不明了。我们从总图上将选址在海堤的转角处。过了转角,海堤向西北折,湿地的进深会逐渐缩小。如果建筑向北移,会离新旧海堤过近;如果向南移,则会处在一个空旷而均质的环境中。项目选址勘察的时候我们只能到达内侧的老海堤,离开在地形图上结合卫星图片选择的基地还有1公里以上的距离,人工恢复的芦苇湿地景观还只是一种未来的预期。由于湿地被海堤包围,这里不受自然潮汐的影响,水位变化大概只有几十公分。我们的房子落在一个桩柱平台上,平台的混凝土边下缘与最高水位线持平。为了方便施工,建筑范围先不疏浚,等平台等主体结构完工后再把水放进来,整体进行湿地的恢复,最后便呈现出建筑平台漂浮在水面上的效果。

▼总平面图,项目位于湿地中,以栈道与海堤连接,master plan, the project is located on the wetland, connected to the seawall ©致正建筑工作室

▼工作模型,建筑布局,working model studying the layout of the buildings ©致正建筑工作室

▼施工现场,建造时基地尚未疏浚,the site was not dredged until the construction was finished ©陈颢

▼建筑如同浮在水面上,the building looks like floating on the water ©陈颢

▼建筑之间通过栈桥连接,the houses are connected by trestles ©陈颢

 

2. 项目的使用者是谁?建筑包含哪些功能?是如何使用的?使用中产生的废物如何排放?

项目分为五栋楼。会议展览栋是主体建筑,其中设置了一个多功能厅和一个常设展厅,可以举办科研会议,也可以开展公共教育活动。配合多功能厅我们还设计了一个会间休息用的咖啡厅。食堂栋设有一大两小三个就餐空间,大餐厅可以容纳二十人左右,也可以兼容会议用途。食堂只有在研讨或公共教育活动需要的时候才会投入使用,一般是配送的半成品到厨房进行烹饪,没有粗加工流程。研究栋是驻场人员的工作空间,相当于两个办公室。另还有两栋宿舍供驻场科研工作者驻留。

▼主楼外观,external view of the main building ©陈颢

▼从食堂看向主楼,view from the canteen to the main house ©陈颢

保护区的管理十分严格,需要事先预约才能进入。建筑的使用者主要有三类:第一类是科研工作者,他们会做现场观察,鸟类环志,研究湿地的潮汐和生物等;第二类是专业和行政层面的访问,如相关业内人士与领导的考察、参观展览等;第三类是经预约的普通大众,到现场参加与环保和鸟类保护有关的公共教育。

在保护区中,废物处理确实是比较敏感的问题。这个项目建筑量大概有三四千平米,需要解决上下水、能源、空调等问题。海堤内侧预留了上水管。下水方面我们曾提出通过植物配置进行局部中性化处理的方案,由于实施的难度较高而没有被采纳。现在我们设置了一个化粪池,废水经过一定前期处理后如果能达到标准就直接排放到湿地里,化粪池里的废物则由专门人士定期清理。关于空调,前期我们曾考虑使用地源热泵或水源热泵系统,但是业主认为这样的系统虽然可以节省建成后的运营成本,但是打井的工程量太大,不一定适合湿地环境,因此没有采纳,而是选择了相对比较成熟的多联机组空调系统,每个区域可以分别控制,也不会造成很大的消耗。整个建筑立面通透,由于屋顶有很大的出檐,遮阳作用明显。总体来说,业主认为较高的环保技术对他们的挑战比较大,且日常维护和可能的性能衰减不可控,所以最后建筑中使用的都是比较常规的技术。

▼从主楼看向其他辅助楼,出檐帮助遮阳,view to the other buildings from the main building, cantilevered roof providing shadows to the space ©陈颢

 

“这个项目的起点是一种抽象的、策略性的思考。”

“The project was started from an abstract and strategic consideration.”

 

3. 确定选址之后是从哪里入手设计建筑的?平面、立面、剖面,还是其他?

设计的起点并不是传统意义上的平面、剖面或某个具体的形态。这个项目的起点是一种抽象的、策略性的思考。由于项目所处的环境尚未形成,并且周边空旷,基本没有尺度感,所以不能用环境决定性的正向推导去做设计。这里的环境并不宜人,风大,而且咸湿。在最开始和业主确定建筑的结构形式时,业主表示轻型建筑在高盐高湿的环境中很难维护,早期示范区里的木结构房子就反映了这个问题。在温度和湿度变化很大的环境里,木结构很容易开裂,钢结构则可能会生锈,所以他们希望建造一个钢筋混凝土的房子,相对比较结实、耐用,这与我们的想法不谋而合。

设计的具体操作其实来自于对场地的理解。我们需要想象一片人工恢复的湿地会是什么样?我们造的房子要让人感受到什么?这个保护区是为鸟类建设的,人只是一个小尺度中的参与者,因此整体环境并不宜人,有某种“旷野”的成分,我希望我们设计的某种东西,是飞来落在湿地里的,并且能够回应场地的这种特质。这是一个机会去探讨我们长期关注的一些问题,而王蒙的《具区林屋图》在这方面给了我们持续的启发。我是从小在江南长大,江南的人居环境就是延续千年的人与自然合作的产物,让人在自然中获得某种安定感,这与中国文化对自然的理解有关。人与自然的关系,不是去战胜自然,也不是屈从于自然、逆来顺受。中国人会利用某种智慧,在自然中求得自身的尺度感、安定感以及存在感。《具区林屋图》画的是太湖西山有一个地方叫做林屋洞,有一些天然岩洞,元代以前就有人在那里隐居。他们在山谷之间的水边建造草屋,在自然之间获得一种安宁的存在以及对人生的感悟,这是中国古代精英人士出世诉求的体现。王蒙笔下的自然狰狞、密集而沉重,使草屋带来的安定感更为突出。

▼概念草图,design concept ©致正建筑工作室

回到东滩的项目,这个场地本身具有未知性,我们在其中投射了“一体两面”的概念。我对中国人在自然当中的存在方式的理解有两个基本点,而这些在中国的山水文化中获得了持续的探讨:第一,人们倾向于选择山谷定居,因为山谷的地形可以提供某种庇护;第二,人们会在一个小小的双坡屋顶的房子中寻求安定感,草堂这个概念反映的就是人类不需要在自然中拥有很大的场域,只要有一个小小的草堂,就可以和整个世界发生关系。这两点与人类原始的身体感知有关,即便不是专业人士也可以理解。由于我们的项目处在一个无尺度的水平线上,因此需要我们自己操作,把这两种基本的存在方式投射到建筑中。我们将原型小屋的屋顶翻转之后再拼接,获得了一个新的屋脊打开的小屋,而它的檐下空间先下压再上扬;同时,在翻转的屋顶上创造出了某种山谷感,进行了一种人造意象的植入。设计中剖面和平面的工作同时进行。因为我们的业主对空间使用问题不敏感,他们经常会调整自己的使用要求。面对这种不确定性,我们设计的空间既要有限定,又要能够突破或重新组织。项目中的Y型结构重复之中有跨度、高度和出挑尺度上的变异,并置之后可以形成空间上的变异,容纳不同尺度的空间。这些单元可分可合,整个平面基本上就是把一条条单向排列的有差异变化的单元串联起来,同时容纳一些回环的路径。

▼体块生成,generation diagram ©致正建筑工作室

▼工作模型,working model ©致正建筑工作室

▼Y型结构下方形成小屋,上方形成山谷,Y-shaped roof creating covered space below and valley space above ©陈颢

 

我们的建筑通过覆盖形成了某种尺度感,通过房子之间相互的对望关照创造对场地的理解。”
“We formed a sense of dimension by covering the space and created understanding of the site through the visual communications between different houses.”

 

会议展览栋的屋顶采用可以上人的屋面系统,由一个个并置的小山谷构成。在没有房子介入的时候,人们对场地的尺度并没有感觉,一公里还是两公里没有什么差别。我们的建筑通过覆盖形成了某种尺度感,通过房子之间相互的对望关照创造对场地的理解。从建筑屋顶看到的是被山谷裁剪过的局部的湿地,不经意间产生了聚焦。有的山谷看过去是新的海堤,有的看过去是栈道。山谷上种了一些不加修饰的茅草和野花,与铺在屋顶上的芦苇秸秆以及湿地中生长的芦苇连接在一起,提供了一个重新理解湿地的维度。人们在山谷间穿越的时候需要经过室内空间上部,可以俯瞰室内的状态,并通过空间的交替强化建筑和环境的关联。这种游览也带有某种园林的意味,因为它是一个动观静观结合的过程。人们可以在山谷中凝视被山谷裁剪过的湿地景观;也可以在穿越时体会一明一暗、收放交替的动态过程,与园林或江南宅院中天井一进一进、明暗交替的体验比较接近。室内空间的体验和屋顶是同构的。空间由单元串联形成,人们可以在某个单元感受到室外绵延湿地的存在,也可以在一个个结构单元之间穿梭,天窗形成了空间明暗和收放的变化。

▼建筑间的对望形成尺度感,visual communications between the houses creating a sense of dimension ©陈颢

▼屋顶形成对景观视线的限定,roof framing the landscape ©陈颢

本来今年威尼斯双年展中国馆由清华的张利老师策展,他找了一批建筑师,每个人做一个视频探讨人和院子的关系。我想到的一个是留园现在的入口空间,从边门进到一个弯曲的廊子,穿过一串天井,明暗交替变化十分迷人;第二是网师园的殿春簃或艺圃的延光阁,它们都是庭院中一个稳定的空间,可以在其中静观外部的园林景色。这两种体验支撑了东滩项目设计的基本想法,它们是超越形态的,最后通过概念性的,包括形态和物质的操作去实现。我希望通过这次建造,提示人们去思考和理解在一个不完全被人控制的环境中,人类到底居于什么位置?

▼传统园林空间,traditional Chinese garden spaces ©(左)CreatAR Images,(右)致正建筑工作室
(左)留园入口,弯曲的廊子,(left) entrance of Lingering Garden
(右)延光阁,在稳定空间中静观外部景色,(right) Yanguang Pavilion, looking at the outside scenery in a stable space

▼明暗交替的空间,space with changes of light and shadow ©陈颢

 

 

__________
Y型结构和空间
Y-shaped Structure and the Space

 

“以空间使用者的自主选择作为主要诉求,希望建筑隐在使用者的主体性之后。”

“We hoped to design a space where people could make their own choices and hide the architecture behind the subjectivity of the users.”

 

1. 你们在设计的哪个阶段开始对结构进行考量?为什么采用这样的结构塑造空间?这样塑造的空间有什么样的特点?

当我们产生了把双坡屋顶翻转拼接的想法后,马上就邀请结构顾问张准老师参与了进来。可以说对结构的考量与前期的设计是紧密结合的。我们的建筑是混凝土结构,跨度可达十多米。我的设计意图就是追求尽量少的支撑。结构很重,但是人们在空间里的感觉是轻盈的,空间让人有自由感,不压迫。这是一个综合的身体感受的问题,减少支撑对实现这个目的是有利的。十字柱是张准老师提出的建议。如果采用方柱,根据计算柱子的截面可能需要一米见方以上,略显粗苯简陋。张准老师提议避免四个角参与双方受力,可以将它们挖掉,截面便成了十字形。虽然十字形柱子的外包尺寸会比方柱略大,但是它的线条比较多,有点像哥特的束柱,提供了一些可以触摸和感受的凹口,更有尺度感。

▼结构分解轴测图,exploded axonometric of the structure ©致正建筑工作室

▼十字截面的柱子更具尺度感,cross-section columns providing more sense of dimension ©陈颢

我们的很多项目都是在设计开始的时候就讨论结构的问题,但是我并不是一个追求结构效果的人。对我来说,结构是根据设计意图和项目特性去平衡的。东滩项目我希望用重型结构覆盖形成一个让人有自由感的空间。如果是同样的屋顶,用更细、更密的柱子去支撑,其结构的存在感可能会更强。现在这样的结构下,会议展览栋内部空间有很大的自由度,人们可以自由选择自己的位置。人在特别大尺度的空间中有时会感到迷茫。虽然会议展览栋的空间面积有两千平米左右,但是由于它是由几个尺度感可控的单元拼接而成的,有很多地方可供人停留。我所面临的挑战就是如何用重型结构塑造一个给人以自由感的空间,而不是传递一种单一的设计意图,规训人们在空间中的行为。我们将空间使用者的自主选择作为主要诉求,希望建筑隐在使用者的主体性之后。

▼Y型结构在室内形成让人可以停留的空间,Y-shaped structure creating space for people to stay in the interior ©陈颢

 

2. 结构尺度的转换是如何确定的?如何回应室内外空间的氛围?

我们在设计中使用变异的单元拼接,一方面是受到最初的设计意图的主导,另一方面也是对环境的敏感做出回应。这个项目的规模不小,屋顶覆盖的面积有5000㎡,室内面积约4000㎡。在这样一个鸟类的保护区中进行如此体量的建造是一个对于设计策略的拷问。我们对此的回应是尽量消解体量。最终的设计手法实现了尺度在某种程度上的模糊性。从大堤上远眺建筑时,它是一组立于水天之间的灰影;随着距离变近,可以看到一系列“Y”型结构体,有点像落在湿地中的一群大鸟,这是非专业层面的一种解读;到达连接建筑的栈桥后,首先映入眼帘的是主楼的东立面,它是一个结构单元体的侧面,底下由柱子支撑,上面是反向的斜屋顶,看不出尺度; 沿着栈桥前进,渐渐会看到主楼北侧完整的立面,由九个结构单元组成,大大小小、高高低低,隐藏在挑檐的阴影之中,结构之间相互断开,形成某种矛盾和模糊;栈桥尽头到达主体建筑的西侧檐下,会感到建筑的尺度并不是很小;从南侧的入口进入建筑后,则会感受到一个个大大小小的空间。建筑的尺度一直在变化,人们可以通过不同的尺度去理解空间以及人与空间的关系。用一种简单的变异和重复实现尺度的模糊和重构,是这次设计中比较成功的地方。

▼项目远景,如同一片Y型结构落在水面上,distanced view of the project like Y-shaped structures landing on the wetland ©陈颢

▼从海堤边看向主建筑东立面,view of the east facade of the main building from the sea wall ©陈颢

▼从栈桥上看研究栋北立面,view of the north facade of the research building from the trestle ©陈颢

 

“我不用去追求结构本身的轻盈,巨大的悬挑形成了一种广义上轻盈的感觉。”

“It was not necessary to pursue lightness in the structure itself. The large cantilevers created lightness in the broad sense.”

 

3. 如何让混凝土结构看上去更轻盈?混凝土内外表面的木模板有什么区别?在色彩、纹理和质感上有怎样的考量?

建筑结构主要影响屋顶下方人的感受。屋顶上方已经制造了某种模拟自然的效果,下方则是一个完全的人造界面。我们在一开始的设计中就希望结构底面是平整的,不展现梁。一些屋顶底端离地面很近,研究栋中混凝土屋顶结构距地面最近处只有1.5米,是我特意要创造出让人钻过去的感觉。人们在室内感受到的是一个抽象的、巨大而连续的起伏界面,混凝土表面的天然木纹则提供了某种尺度感。这些小尺度的印记,包括施工中不完美的痕迹,都给人提供了某种认识空间的基点,感受到空间中大与小的关系。这种空间构成方式让重型结构不再是一个问题,我不用去追求结构本身的轻盈,巨大的悬挑有些悬在室外,有些在断面之间由天窗连接,向天空自然地打开,形成了一种广义上轻盈的感觉。木纹混凝土的肌理本身是偏重的,如果我只是追求肌理上的轻盈,那做成安藤那样的光面混凝土会显得更轻。对此我有两方面考量。首先,我希望屋顶有质感,它与空间的轻盈感和开放感并存,可以形成一种有趣的矛盾的感觉。第二,混凝土的建造受到施工和资源的限制。如果要做没有瑕疵的光滑混凝土,除了对模板的精确控制,还需要控制混凝土供料的色差,让混凝土制品厂专门留几个罐子供这个工程使用,这样下来的造价比普通混凝土要贵30%到40%以上。我们的业主没有造房子的经验,我们的施工单位专门负责水利施工,虽然混凝土建造的技术很高,但是不擅长做精细的房屋施工。综合各方面因素,我们主动选用了木模混凝土这样一种容错率比较高的施工方式。我们在以往资源不丰富的项目中多次采用这种方式,经验比较丰富。混凝土上有木模印子,不平整或者局部的修补也没关系。我甚至要求模板之间能够错开一两公分,自然形成一种凹凸特别强烈的混凝土肌理。

▼巨大的混凝土屋顶没有梁,表面木纹提供了某种尺度感,the concrete roof is flat without beams, the wooden texture providing some sense of dimension ©陈颢

▼屋脊部位的打开令其更向天空延展和开放,the open ridge making the structure extending towards the sky, creating a more open atmosphere ©陈颢

我们用30公分宽的松木板做模板,它是木制品工业中原料级的板材,我们平时使用的地板或条板都是从这些30公分宽、4公分厚、4米长的木板中重新开出来的。因为混凝土的结构较大,使用这种尺度的板材可以形成一种比较强烈的效果。模板在使用之前经过了深度碳化处理,使得木纹更加明显。除了屋顶上被芦苇覆盖的部分,所有暴露的混凝土都是用的一样的模板,最后形成了一种比较均质的木纹质感。建筑内部墙面在最早的方案中也是混凝土制成的,但是在开始做施工图时,一位领导担心都是混凝土会让房子显得过于冰冷,于是我们对设计进行了调整,处理回收的木模板用来制作所有非承重墙的表面。模板正反面各用过一次,我们回收了大部分模板,将其从中间剖开,形成18毫米厚的常用板材,将剖出的新表面用在室内,旧表面则用在非混凝土的室外部分。因为模板在拆下来堆放的过程中经历了风吹雨打,表面已经氧化成了不同层次的灰色。我们的混凝土采用普通配比,没有控制色差。施工中一共浇筑了两次,一次是柱子,让所有的柱子是同样的颜色;一次是屋顶,不同屋顶可能由不同批次的混凝土浇筑,颜色上有所差异。但是由于屋顶和屋顶之间,以及柱子和屋顶之间并不是水平交接,因此色差并不是问题。

▼室内墙面采用翻新后的回收木模板,renewed recycled wooden panels are used for the interior walls ©陈颢

▼木纹混凝土细部,closer view to the wooden textured concrete ©陈颢

▼由于不存在明显的水平浇筑接缝,所以可以容忍一定混凝土色差以应对不可控的施工条件,as there is no obvious horizontal connections, the differences in the color of the concrete could be tolerated at a certain level, coping with the uncontrollable construction conditions ©陈颢

 

 

___________
设计与生态环境
Design and the eco-environment

 

1. 屋顶的设计有哪些可持续方面的考虑?对于鸟类或其他生物会产生怎样的影响?这样的屋顶要如何维护?

用植物覆盖屋顶是房子还没有成型的时候就确定下来的想法。我们用钢筋混凝土做了一组巨大的结构体,屋顶变成了一个特别敏感的话题。如何消解一个巨大的屋顶?从远处会看到屋顶的几何轮廓,感受上不会形成负担;但是当人上到屋顶上之后,我们希望创造一种不是纯几何的感受。为了达到这种效果,我们采取了两种措施。首先,我们在屋顶山谷的底部做了覆土,种了一些不需要维护的植物,可以供人行走。这些植物会随着季节更替,春夏茂盛,秋冬枯萎,与湿地中芦苇的变化是一致的。其次,主体的斜屋面由芦苇秸秆覆盖。巨大的混凝土表面对我来说是难以接受的,而由于环境湿度太大,普通的铝板无法维持很久,其他人造材料又过于昂贵。基地周边盛产海芦苇,比淡水芦苇更粗壮,适合做草顶。而且这种材料取自于当地,由当地编织芦苇的工人指导制作。秸秆屋顶是有寿命的,五年左右就需要进行更换,这种更替是建筑师和业主都认同的。我们不追求一劳永逸,这样的更替让建筑与环境产生了关系,也体现了某种朴素的可持续的想法。

▼屋顶花园与湿地连成一体,the roof garden become  an extension of the reeds in the wetland ©陈颢

 

“项目是一个特殊的人地关系的载体。”

“The project was a carrier for a particular human-land relationship.”

 

2. 项目中有大量玻璃和混凝土的节点,施工中如何控制节点的质量?怎样减少建设过程对生态环境的影响?

混凝土屋顶和玻璃的交接我们采用的是常规做法,没有使用在混凝土上做开槽做止水带这种复杂的技术。我们基本就是在平整的混凝土上加框料,然后做防水处理。玻璃面相当于一个单层幕墙,尺度比较常规,并不会产生太大的问题。

大面积玻璃的使用是一个矛盾的选择。对人来说,玻璃多挺好,这样就可以在室内看到室外水天一色的景色,仿佛置身于湿地环境当中。但是方案通过后,保护区的工作人员警觉地发现,玻璃立面对鸟类并不友好,鸟类可能因为看不清而撞到玻璃上。因此我们在立面上设置了大量遮阳格栅,主要是用来防止鸟撞的。除了下部两米多和门差不多高的大部分,我们在上部不特别需要人看出去的地方都加设了格栅。本来我们想用剩下的木模板制作格栅,但是对甲方来说,需要替换的芦苇屋顶已经是一个挑战,很难再接受立面上做木制格栅。木格栅在当地的环境下恐怕寿命不长,需要找专业的施工队伍来进行维护和替换,不可控因素比较多。最后我们选择使用铝合金制作格栅,从整体效果来说肯定不及木格栅,但是平衡各方面的要素,这种不需要太多维护的方式是可以接受的。去年年底我们拍摄到有鸟类在格栅之间筑巢,可见格栅的设计对鸟类也是有益的,一定程度上在建筑和生态环境之间建立起了某种关系。

▼混凝土与玻璃节点详图,detail of the joints between the concrete and the glass facade ©致正建筑工作室

▼施工现场照片,construction site ©陈颢

▼玻璃立面外设置格栅以防止鸟撞,blades installed outside the glass facade to prevent birds from colliding ©陈颢

如果这个项目建造在一片已经存在的、哪怕是人工恢复后的湿地中,我们对于这么大体量的建造肯定会产生某种负罪感,会怀疑项目的必要性:真的需要在一片鸟类的乐园中建造这么大的设施吗?但是这个项目的特殊之处在于它是二十多平方公里生态重塑工程的一部分,项目的施工和湿地的恢复是一体的。房屋在疏浚前就开始建造,造完后才把水放进来,其居于水面之上的效果以及与湿地的连接都是人工干预的结果。在这个语境下理解,这种呈一定规模的重型建造在伦理上没有问题,它是一个特殊的人地关系的载体。

▼建筑与湿地,architecture and the wetland ©陈颢

 

3. 设计对于和鸟类的关系进行了哪些考量?

建筑师不太可能特别专业地了解鸟类,我们所做的工作是想达到某种程度的对鸟类友好,但实际采取的措施还是需要通过环境的结果去验证。观鸟屋的设计基本上是把房子隐藏起来,人躲起来去看鸟。但是我们的建筑不是观鸟屋,而是人工恢复的湿地中科研展示以及公共教育的场所,它和为鸟类服务的房子不太一样。大环境当中,项目没有争夺鸟类的空间。整个湿地超过二十平方公里,我们的房子只建在一个小小的角落中,我要做的就是防止鸟撞上建筑。设计中也出现过一些小失误。一号楼有两个天井,建完之后发现有鸟飞进去后飞不出来。为了让鸟不要钻进天井,管理人员用网把天井顶封了起来。作为建筑师,我没有在一开始就预判到这种不利因素。如果能早些预判,我们可能会更有针对性地对天井进行设计,做一个鸟类可以逃出去的天井。从整个项目来看,我们做了一个相对来说有植物的非硬质屋顶,倾斜的屋面使得底部有让鸟类停留的可能性,玻璃面上补偿性地设置了对鸟类相对友好的格栅,将对鸟类生活环境的破坏减少到最小。

▼鸟类在格栅上筑巢,birds nesting on the blades ©致正建筑工作室

 

 

________
感悟与展望
Experience and Expectation

 

“在一个充满矛盾和不确定性的环境中合谋未来。”

“Conspire with the future in an environment full of contradictions and uncertainties.”

 

1. 这个项目和您以往做过的项目最大的不同之处和在其中面临的挑战是什么?

这个项目的环境特质与以往的项目不同。我的实践基本都在城市里,哪怕是在郊野,都是在一个强人工干预的环境之中。这些空间以人为主,房子也是为人所造。东滩项目虽然看上去处于第一自然,但其实这里是强人工干预后形成的第二自然,区别是这种干预是将场地留给鸟类,人不再与其争夺。项目开始的时候我只是蒙蒙胧胧地意识到了环境的这个特点,我们的设计回应了这一话题:如何在人退出之后的人工自然当中,做一个既要为人,又能够存在于不为人的环境当中的建筑?鲁安东老师为这个项目写了一篇评论,也提到了这点。他的结论是这个房子所有的操作主要都是为人的,但是这个房子的整体思路,一直到最终的结果,触及了人与非人之间的关系。我最初到这个项目的场地时,我被它打动了,充满了热情和想象。在这样一个特殊场地当中通过设计去直面和探讨人和自然的关系,并从不同尺度,大到地景,小到建筑和周围环境,去回应这个话题,这跟我们平常做的项目不一样。设计之初我们面对的是一个不确定的未来,但是我们要向着某种未来去做设计,这本身就是一个挑战。诚然,建筑师都会面对这样的问题,区别就是这个项目连场地本身都有某种不确定性,处在模棱两可的人造与非人造的矛盾关系之间,这种场地特殊的语境,构成了一个对设计巨大的挑战。设计中,我们抓住了人的基本感受和某种原始的心理感知,这本身也是我个人实践工作当中比较强的倾向。我们做设计不太依托于纯形式操作。很多纯人工环境当中的设计有很强的系统性和理性的成分,最后还是需要通过某种强烈的物质形式操作去把控。这个项目提供了某种反思的机会:如何利用这种设计意图,在一个充满矛盾和不确定性的环境中合谋未来。

 

2. 项目中哪里让你感觉最满意?

这么一个小小的项目从设计开始到建造完成共花费了六年多时间,过程中遇到了很多困难,比如业主不是一个专业团队,施工单位尤其施工能力上的特殊性,以及整个建设的财务条件限制,等等。但是业主跟我们一起坚持了下来,最后达成了一个比较令人满意的结果。首先,建筑最后呈现出来的空间和环境的整体关系基本上达到了设计的目标。这个空间不是一个纯粹的空的空间,它的内部能够发生场景,空间能够被使用,能够被人参与到其中。其次,某种层面上业主比我更满意。尽管对于建造本身在技术层面上我有很多不太满意的部分,但是对于管理站的领导来说,这几年工程做下来,经历了各种事情,他几乎变成了半个专业人士。业主的追求是这个项目能够坚持到最后并且达到比较理想的效果的关键因素之一。

 

3. 您对于这个项目未来的使用和发展前景有怎样的看法?它可能会为周边带来怎样的改变和提升?

建筑现在还没有完全正式投入使用。由于项目处在保护区之中,它的开放是有限的。我希望在保证鸟类保护区正常运作的前提下,这个项目能够被更多地利用,尤其是在公共教育的层面上。东滩是一个巨大的生态修复项目,将会带来长久的自然效益,它应该被更广泛地传播。我们希望东滩科研宣教中心可以变成一个平台,把东滩的修复作为讨论对象,让大家理解环境保护的意义。环境保护不是单纯意义上维持某种自然环境,也有可能是像东滩这样去纠正前人的错误,用大量的资源去恢复自然的环境。这一措施放在全世界的湿地或者自然保护语境当中都有很高的探讨价值。因为有这样的背景,这个房子才会出现。我希望它以后能承担起这方面探讨的任务。

▼项目将成为探讨湿地问题的平台,the project will be a platform to discuss wetland issues ©陈颢

More: 致正建筑工作室。 更多关于:Atelier Z+ on gooood

 

 

 

崇明东滩湿地科研宣教中心

More about Wetland Research and Education Center, Dongtan, Chongming, Shanghai

 

东滩湿地位于崇明岛最东端的长江入海口,是咸淡水结合的河口型潮汐滩涂湿地,处于全球鸟类八大迁徙路线之一的“东亚—澳大利亚”路线中段,是亚太地区迁徙水鸟的重要通道,也是世界最重要的野生鸟类集居、栖息地之一。为了修复由90年代引进的用于固滩的外来入侵物种互花米草引起的湿地生态恶化问题,上海崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区于2013年启动了灭除互花米草的生态控制与鸟类栖息地优化工程,并于2019年全面完工。与之配套的科研宣教中心是科研监测、鸟类环志、管护执法、科普教育的重要工作平台,承担着宣传和展示生态环保理念、促进对外交流合作等功能。

Located at the easternmost point of Chongming Island, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Dongtan Wetland is a sort of estuary tidal flat wetland. This wetland sits on the middle of “East Asia – Australia” route which is known as one of the eight migration routes for birds of the world. As a very important migration corridor for waterfowl in the Asian-Pacific region, Dongtan Wetland also becomes one of the most significant gathering places and habitats for wild birds. In the 1990s, an invasive plant spartina alterniflora was introduced to reinforce the tidal flat, which then result in the ecological deterioration of the wetland. To deal with the issue, Shanghai Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve started ecological control on spartina alterniflora and environment optimization of bird habitats in 2013. The whole project was completed in 2019. As a supporting facility of this project, the Research and Education Center was built as an important platform of scientific research monitoring, bird banding, law enforcement of management and protection, science education. Besides, it serve for raising both awareness and display of ecological and environmental protection as well as promoting worldwide cooperation and exchange.

▼项目鸟瞰,aerial view of the project ©陈颢

基地位于保护区东北部修复后的芦苇湿地内,四周水天一色、人迹寥寥、群鸟栖栖。在一片大自然主宰的环境中,建筑希冀以一种谦逊又敬畏的姿态介入其中。元代(14世纪)山水画家王蒙的《具区林屋图》所描绘的散落掩映于山水之间的隐居棚屋在设计起点上给了我们启发,我们从中领会到人于自然之中求得安定的存在感的两种原初状态:居于谷地和居于檐下。为了在从建造到使用的全过程中最少程度地侵扰现有的生态系统,建筑体量化整为零、错落布局,成为一组以桩柱平台架空漂浮于水面之上、掩映于芦苇丛间的水上聚落,并用一条曲折蜿蜒的水上栈桥将会议展览、食堂、研究和宿舍这五栋大小差异的建筑联系起来。同时,我们通过原型的转换和尺度的操控去创造能够回应天空、湿地、芦苇、飞鸟这些环境特质的室内外空间氛围。设计的起点是王蒙画中那些浮于水天之间、居于屋檐之下的“双坡棚屋”这一空间原型,我们把双坡屋顶上下反转成为一个“Y”形悬臂空间结构体,而两个“Y”形独立单元幷置形成的“YY”空间与双坡原型相比则具有了新的空间意义:首先,它们之间的覆盖空间继承了双坡小屋的庇护之感,创造了由内向外对于广阔的湿地水平性景象的捕捉和限定,但是屋脊部位的打开令其更向天空延展和开放;同时,屋上的反坡空间具有了一种居于山谷之中的可能,而这些微型山谷提供了在高处对于更显阔远的水平性景观的再次裁剪与组构;再者,相比于双坡原型的下压缘侧空间,新结构的檐下缘侧具有先下压再上扬的空间转折,创造了向环境打开的缘侧感受。

The site is situated in a restored reed wetland in the northeast of the Nature Reserve, where the water and the sky merge in one colour, few people tread, flocks of birds perch. With modesty and respect, we suppose the building would be in harmony with the natural area. The inspiration is from secluded shacks scattering between the mountains and waters, which described by the ancient Chinese landscape painter Wang Meng in fourteenth century. With the intention of minimizing the impact on the local ecosystem whenever this place is under construction or in use, the architectural volume is divided and scattered, forming a group of settlements above the pile platform, floating on the water and hidden among the reeds. Five buildings of different volume including the conference and exhibition, the canteen, the research, and the dormitory are cross-connected by a zigzag trestle bridge. Through the conversion of prototype and the control of scale, the atmosphere of indoor and outdoor spaces could be in response to the environment specificity such as sky, wetland, reeds and flying birds. Enlightened by the “shack with double pitched roof” in Wang Meng’s painting, we turned the double pitched roof over, made a “Y-shape” cantilever structure, juxtaposed these two “Y-shape” independent units and created a new double Y shape space (YY). This creative idea has brought this prototype new spatial meaning. Firstly, the space covered by these two Y-shape structures is given a sense of shelter and created a fixed horizontal vision towards the vast wetland, while the openness of ridge is made extend towards sky. Secondly, the counter-slope space above the roof offers the feeling of living in a micro-valley, where visitors can enjoy the cropping and re-composition of broader horizontal vision. Moreover, compared with the veranda of lateral eaves gallery of the double pitched roof prototype, the veranda of the new structure has the space firstly pressing down and then lifting up, creating the feeling of opening to the environment.

▼具区林屋图
the painting of Juqu Forest House

▼项目远景,位于湿地中,distanced view of the project located in the middle of the wetland ©陈颢

▼栈桥连接建筑,trestle connecting the houses ©陈颢

通过一系列“Y”形单元结构的幷置与变异,形成均质又富于变化的连续坡折屋顶,创造了一系列尺度差异的被覆盖空间,容纳了会议、展览、研究、驻场、咖啡、食堂等多种空间内容(Program),并通过流线的配置、庭院的介入、围护界面的透明度变化、结构跨度和高度的差异、以及屋顶脊天窗和高侧天窗的不同配合,让不同功能的空间产生一种模糊的差异化定义,并鼓励灵活多样的使用方式的介入。由于这种特殊的线性空间组织方式,建筑内部产生了一种静观和动观自由切换的奇特体验:当居于某一空间单元内时,平行于结构单元的视野是一种有身体包裹感的屋内檐下静观体验,外部的自然景色横亘于眼前;而当在不同空间单元间穿行时,高低明暗的交替变化所形成的节奏感如同穿行于园林宅院之间。而这种静观与动观的切换在会议展览栋(A栋)的屋顶得到了进一步的强化:一条在屋顶上的“山谷”和屋顶下的空中穿行的步道将平视远望的湿地框景和俯瞰近观的室内景象交替结合起来,如同对于场地特质的闪回式诠释。深远出檐覆盖下的建筑聚落方式让建筑体量破碎化与片段化,消解了不同规模单体的尺度差异,形成凌驾于水上的层叠的阴影中的模糊建筑,用一种“重而轻”的方式来与这一特殊的场地相关联。

With a series of juxtapositions and variations of Y-shape unit structure, we designed a series of continuous saw-tooth roofs and created covered spaces with scale difference where multi-functional programs are available. With the organization of circulation, distribution of courtyards, variation of transparency of enclosures, differentiation of structural span and height, and the combination of ridge skylights and clerestories,  there is none clear boundary between different functional spaces, peoples are encouraged to use them in a flexible way. Besides, this special linear pattern of space organization has brought unique indoor experience between in-position view and in-motion view. When staying in a certain space unit, peoples are able to enjoy a body-enveloping experience under the roof with the view parallel to the structural unit, and the external natural scenery in front of the eye; while walking through different space units, with the rhythm of variation in height and light, they will feel as walking in a garden-courtyard house. This unique experience is strongly intensified on the roof of conference & exhibition building: In response to the site features, we have evocated a flashback interpretation through alternating and combining the distant eye-level view of wetland from the “valley” on the roof and the close overlooking view of indoor scene from the skywalk under the roof. The scattered building volumes are fragmented by the overhanging saw-tooth roofs with deep eave which successfully eliminate the scale difference between buildings, and also are blurred by overlapped deep shadows and reflection above the water.

▼V型结构形成山谷式的屋顶空间,V-shaped structure creating valley-like roof space ©陈颢

▼明暗交替的室内空间,interior space with changes of light and shadow ©陈颢

▼从屋顶看向湿地,view to the wetland from the rooftop ©陈颢

考虑到高湿高盐与大风环境的耐候与维护挑战,我们并未采用钢、木等轻质结构,而是以钢筋混凝土作为主体结构,同时尽量选择简化与直接的构造类型。A、B、C三栋楼采用局部带折板的“Y”形悬臂钢筋混凝土十字柱排架结构,其中A栋由于悬臂较大全部采用型钢性混凝土结构,展厅局部带有钢结构夹层;而D、E两栋宿舍则是钢筋混凝土折板结构。为了让混凝土结构以粗犷的方式存在于湿地环境中,我们采用了30厘米宽的长条松木模板清水混凝土工艺来获得强烈的自然木纹模铸效果。而非结构的围护及分隔墙体的内外表面全部采用中剖翻新后的回收木模板,以求得一种材质表达上的同构性。由于深远出檐的庇护,大部分的外墙采用了带垂直格栅的落地玻璃,既最大限度地引入风景,又对飞鸟比较友好。栈桥及水上平台的现场预制混凝土条板留缝铺地用自然粗犷的质感强化了临于水上的感觉,又为下部芦苇的生长预留了空间。屋顶所有反坡“山谷”的底部都有微起伏的覆土和低维护的芒草及灌木种植,而所有的斜屋面除了收边部分采用钛锌板之外,全部采用了收割加工于东滩湿地的芦苇秸秆进行覆盖,并由本地芦苇编织工匠进行施工指导,以体现就地取材、增进环境融合度和可持续的循环利用。

Considering that weather-proof and maintenance of this facility are quit challenging work in high humidity and salinity conditions, the light steel or wooden structure was abandoned in our design. Instead, reinforced concrete is selected to build with the simplicity of tectonics. Building A, B, C were built by Y-shaped cantilevered reinforced concrete bent frame structure with crisscross section and partial folded-plate. Among these buildings, the cantilever of building A was so large that the whole structure had to be constructed by steel reinforced concrete and the exhibition hall was partly designed with steel mezzanine; building D and E were constructed with concrete folded-plate structure. In order to expose the crudeness from the concrete structure in wetland, long pine timber formworks were used in the as-cast-finish concrete construction to obtain natural wood texture. The non-structural enclosure and partition walls were also coated with refurbished recycled timber formworks to unify the material expression. Since sheltered from long overhang eaves, bird-friendly floor-to-ceiling windows with vertical grilles which provide the visitors maximum of field view are used for most external envelop. The trestle bridge and the water platform were paved with precast concrete battens with crack left between each other, which not only enhanced the feeling of walking over water but also made room for reed growth. Moreover, all the “valleys” bottom on the roof were covered with slightly undulating soil and low-maintenance planted miscanthus and shurbs. For the purpose of environment integration and sustainable recycling in the future, all the pitched roofs which trimmed with titanium-zinc sheet were covered with indigenous reed straw reaped and processed under the supervision of local experienced reed weavers.

▼主建筑立面图,elevation of the main building ©致正建筑工作室

▼剖透视 – 会议展览栋,perspective section – conference and exhibition building ©致正建筑工作室

 

▼剖透视 – 食堂栋,perspective section – dining building ©致正建筑工作室

▼剖透视 – 研究栋,perspective section – research building ©致正建筑工作室

▼剖透视 – 宿舍栋,perspective section – dormitory building ©致正建筑工作室

▼节点细部,joint detail ©致正建筑工作室

项目名称: 崇明东滩湿地科研宣教中心
设计方:致正建筑工作室
公司网站: www.atelierzplus.com
联系邮箱: atelier_zplus@163.com

项目设计 & 完成年份: 2013-2019
主创及设计团队: 周  蔚(主创),张  斌(主创),金燕琳(方案设计、扩初设计、施工图设计),徐  跃(施工配合),李姿娜,胡丽瑶,刘  昱,张雅楠,孙嘉秋,薛楚金
结构顾问:和作结构建筑研究所/张准

项目地址: 上海崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区
建筑面积: 4,092 ㎡
摄影版权: 陈颢
合作方: 上海勘测设计研究院有限公司
客户: 上海崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区管理处

Project name:Wetland Research and Education Center, Dongtan, Chongming, Shanghai
Design:Atelier Z+
Website:www.atelierzplus.com
Contact e-mail:atelier_zplus@163.com
Design year & Completion Year:2013-2019
Leader designer & Team:ZHOU Wei, ZHANG Bin, JIN Yanlin(Schematic Design, Developing Design, & Construction Design), XU Yue(Construction Coordination) , LIU Yu, HU Liyao, LIU Yi, ZHANG Yanan, SUN Jiaqiu, XUE Chujin
Structure Consultant: ZHANG Zhun (AND Office)

Project location:Shanghai Chongming Dngtan National Nature Reserve
Gross Built Area (square meters):4,092 ㎡
Photo credits:CHEN Hao
Partners:Shanghai Investigation, Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Clients:Management Office of Shanghai Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve

More: 致正建筑工作室。 更多关于:Atelier Z+ on gooood

 

 

 

English Q&A

 

1. How did you choose the site for the project? Why was it on the wetland? How could the architecture respond to natural changes such as the tides?

Dongtan Wetland Research and Education Center was not an isolated architectural project, but an integral part of the restoration project of Dongtan in Chongming. Dongtan is a tidal-flat wetland located at the estuary of Yangtze River and has been growing eastward continuously for about one kilometer every ten years, creating lines of seawalls among which people would cultivate the land for agriculture. As Dongtan is at the intersection of fresh water and salt water, providing a necessary place for the migration of Asia-Pacific migratory birds, it has generally become a bird sanctuary. In the 1980s, a species called spartina alterniflora was introduced to stabilize the tide flat. Unexpectedly, this plant was too fast growing and has no natural enemy, so it quickly overgrew the entire mudflat, resulting in the degradation of the wetland and the loss of a place for birds to settle. In 2013, Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Landscaping inaugurated a wetland restoration project, aiming to eradicate the spartina alterniflora and restore the wetland. The way to do this was to enclose a new seawall on Dongtan wetland to cut out the spartina alterniflora and fill it with seawater, then dredge it after a few months to reform the terrain with reeds and shoal. The scope of the project is over 20 square kilometers, and after the wetland is restored, a research and academic hub will be established to display the history of the restoration and also provide a platform for organized public educational events.

The Research and Education Center was destined to be built on the reserved wetland. When we first worked on the project, the restoration work had not started yet, with only a demonstration area made on the south part of the site. We had no clue for what the final environment would be like, or how the reed shoal and the water would be distributed in the site. According to the masterplan, we chose the turning corner of the seawall as the final site. Beyond the corner, the seawall folds to the northwest and the depth of the wetland will gradually decrease. If the building is moved northward, it will be too close to the existing sea walls. If it is moved southward, it would be surrounded by an open and homogeneous environment. We could only arrive at the old sea wall on the inner side when we were doing the site survey, which was 1 km away from the site we had chosen from the satellite map. Though after the restoration, the landscape was still only a future expectation. As the wetland was enclosed by sea walls, it would not be affected by the natural tide and the water level changes by probably only a few tens of centimeters. The building was constructed on a platform supported by piles and the lower limb of its concrete edge was right at the highest water level. The construction area will not be dredged until the platform and other main structures are completed, then the water will be let in and the overall restoration of the wetland will be carried out, resulting in a building looked as if floating on the water.

 

2. Who are the users of the project? What was the programme of the building and how are wastes from use discharged?

The project consists of five buildings. The main building is for conference and exhibition, which contains a multifunctional hall and a permanent exhibition hall that can host science and research meetings and public education activities. Together with the multifunctional hall, we also designed a café where people could take a rest during meetings. The canteen is located in another building, including three dining areas, one of which is larger in size with a capacity of about 20 people. It could also be used as a meeting place. The canteen would only come into service when needed for seminars or public education activities. Generally, semi-manufactured food is delivered to the kitchen for cooking, leaving out the rough processing.The research building is a work space for onsite researchers, providing a large space that and is equivalent to two offices. There are two additional dormitories designed for the researches to stay.

The conservation area is very strictly managed and the visitors need to make an appointment before entering. There are three main types of users of the building: the first is science researchers who will do field observations, bird banding and study the tide and creatures on the wetland; the second type of users are professionals and leaders from relevant industry and administrations  who come for inspection or exhibitions; the third type is the general public who can have a visit by appointment and directly participate in the public education of environment and bird protection.

Waste disposal is a really sensitive issue in protected areas. The building area is about three to four thousand square meters and needs to address issues of water supply and drainage, energy and air conditioning. There are water supply tubes embedded in the sea walls. For the drainage, we proposed to partly treat the waste water through arrangement of plants. However, this proposal was adopted due to the difficulty of implementation. In the end, we placed a septic-tank. The sewage would be treated and discharged directly into the wetlands when it is up to standard. The waste in the septic tank would be cleaned periodically by specialists. We had considered using a ground source or water source heat pump system for air conditioning in the early stages, However, although the system would save the operating costs after construction, the client felt that the amount of work involved in drilling the well was too large and not necessarily suitable for the wetland environment. Thus the solution was replaced by using a relatively mature multi-unit conditioning system that allowed each zone to be controlled separately without causing significant consumption. The entire building façade is transparent, with efficient shading due to the large eaves of the roof. Generally speaking, as high-tech environmental protection methods were very challenging to the client and it was hard to avoid performance degradation, only conventional techniques were used in the construction of the project.

 

3. How did you start the architectural design after the site was decided? 

The starting point of this project could not be simply defined as a plan, a section or a concrete form in a traditional sense. The project was started from an abstract and strategic consideration. Because the environment in which the project was situated is unformed, and the surrounding area was empty and largely devoid of scale, it was not possible to use environmental conditions as a guide. The climate was not favorable, where the wind was strong and the air was salty and humid In the beginning, when we were discussing the structure of the project with the client, they indicated that light-type structure was hard to maintain under such environment. This problem was reflected by the wooden-structural houses in the demonstration plot. In an environment with wide variations in temperature and humidity, wooden structure are prone to cracking and steel structures are likely to rust. Therefore, the client wanted to build a reinforced concrete structure which would be relatively strong and durable. This was just what we had expected.

The design came from our understanding of the site. We need to imagine what an artificially restored wetland would look like. What would people feel in the new building? It is a sanctuary built for birds where humans are occupying in a small scale. Therefore, the overall environment was not designed to be inhospitable, but with an atmosphere of wilderness. We hoped that we could design something that was like landing in the wetlands, responding to the quality of the site. It was an opportunity to discuss some issues that we had been engaging with for a long time. Personally, I have been continuous inspired by Wang Meng’s painting Juqu Forest House.I grew up in the regions south of Yangtze River, and its habitat is the product of a millennia-long coexistence of man and nature, allowing people to have a certain sense of stability associated with the understanding of the nature in Chinese culture. It was not about to defeat the nature or to submit to it. Chinese people have the intelligence to find their own sense of scale, stability and existence in the nature. In Juqu Forest House, Wang Meng depicted a place named Forest House Cave in the western hills of Taihu Lake, where there were natural caves where people used to live in seclusion before the Yuan Dynasty. They built straw huts by the water between the valleys to beside the lake and gained a peaceful existence among nature to introspectively thinking on themselves. It reflects the appeal of the elites in ancient China to escape from the society. Wang Meng’s narrative of nature was kind of hideous, dense and terrifying, making the sense of stability brought by the straw huts all the more prominent.

Returning to the project in Dongtan, the site itself had something unknown and we reflected the concept of “two faces in one volume”in this project. My understanding of the Chinese way of being in nature has two basic points, which have been discussed in the Shanshui culture throughout the history. Firstly, people tend to live in a valley because their topography provides some kind of shelter. Secondly, people tend to find stability in a small house with a double-pitched roof. The concept of the project reflects the fact that humans can relate themselves to the whole world with just a small grass hall, rather than a very large field. These two points are about physical sense of human body which can be understood even  by non-experts. As our project was located on a flat site with no sense of scales, we had to reflect these features through our own creation. We reversed the double-pitched roof of the prototype and stitched the reversed roofs together to create a new house with open ridges. It created an interior space with different heights and a valley-like space on the reversed roof, providing a manmade image of the valleys. The plans and sections were decided simultaneously. The client was not sensitive to the functions of the spaces and they would often change their requirements during the design. In the face of this uncertainty, we designed spaces that are both defined and able to reorganize. The use of the Y-shaped structure was both repeated and changing in span, height and cantilever size, accommodating different spaces with different scales. These units can be divided or combined, and at the same time creating some circulation spaces in between.

The roof of the conference and exhibition building was composed of a line of small valleys and was accessible. Before the house was built, people have no sense of the scale of the site. The views were all the same in different distances. We formed a sense of dimension by covering the space and created understanding of the site through the visual connection between different houses. People on the roofs could have a partial view of the wetland which was trimmed by the valleys, generating a feeling of focusing. From some valleys you could see the seawalls and from other valleys the plank road was in your sight. Wild thatch and flowers were planted in the valleys. Plants in the valleys, the reed roof and the reeds growing in the wetland visually connected together, creating a new dimension to understand the place. When people went from one valley to another, they had to go through the upper part of the interior space, where they could overlook the activities in the building, enhancing the connection between the architecture and its environment. This tour also reflected the characteristics of traditional Chinese gardens because it was a process of it is a process of combining movement and stillness. People could stay in the valleys to enjoy the scenery of trimmed wetland. They could also experience the change of light when traversing the landscape. It was similar to the experience in a traditional Chinese garden or a house in the regions south of the Yangtze River, where there were light wells arranged in sequence, creating alternating light and shadow. The experience in the interior space was created by the same method as on the roof. The space consisted of units arranged in series. People could walk back and forth between the units or could observe the endless wetland outside from one of the units, with the skylight forming the change of brightness while giving tension to the spatial experience.

Professor Zhang Li from Tsinghua University was originally commissioned to be the curator of the Chinese Pavilion for Venice Biennale this year. He was contacting with a group of architects and asked each of them to make a video to discuss the relationship between human and courtyard. One example that I could recall is  the entrance space of the Lingering Garden. Entering from the side door, people will pass through a winding corridor with a sequence of light wells bringing fascinating light and shadow effects. The other example is the Peony Study in the Master of the Nets Garden or the Yanguang Pavilion in the Garden of Cultivation. They are all stable spaces in a garden where one can stay for a while and enjoy a tranquil view of the external garden. The design concept of Dongtan project was based on these two kinds of experience, which transcends the shape and ends up in a conceptual, encompassing gesture. Through this construction, I hoped to prompt people to think about and understand their role and position in an environment that is not completely controlled by human beings.

 

4. On which stage did you begin to think of structure? Why did you use this type of structure to shape the space? What are the characteristics of spaces that were shaped in such a way?

As soon as we came up with the idea of reversing the double pitch roofs, we immediately asked our structural consultant Prof. Zhang Zhun to join in our team. The consideration in structure went along with the design in its early stage. The building was designed to have a concrete structure with a span of more than ten meters. My design intention was to minimize the use of supporting components. The structure was heavy, but people feel free and relaxed within it. It was about integrated physical feelings and reducing supporting elements could help to achieving this goal. The use of cross-sectioned columns was proposed by Prof. Zhang Zhun. If square columns were used, according to calculations, the surface of the section might need to be over one square meter, which would be slightly crude. Prof. Zhang also suggested that since the moment of inertia of the columns would not rest on the four corners, they could be cut out to form cross-shaped ones. Although the outer dimensions of the cross-shaped columns would be larger than the square ones, they seemed to have more lines and layers, somewhat like a Gothic beam-column, providing a series of notches that could be touched and felt for a greater sense of scale.

In many of our projects, we start to discuss structural issues at the beginning of the process. However, I am not an architect focusing on structural effects. In my perspective, structure should balance the intention of the design and the characteristics of the project. In Dongtan project, I intended to cover the building with a heavy structure to create a space that gives people a sense of freedom. If we use slender and denser columns to support the same V-shaped roof, the structural presence might be stronger. Now with such a structure, there is a great deal of freedom and people are free to choose where they want to stay. People sometimes feel confused in a particularly large scale space. Although the conference and exhibition building has an area of about 2000 square meters, it is composed of several units with a controlled sense of scale, providing plenty of room for people to stay. The challenge I was facing was to shape a space with a heavy structure that offered enough freedom, rather than delivering a monolithic design intention, which would regulate the users’ behavior. We hoped to design a space where people could make their own choices and hide the architecture behind the subjectivity of the users.

 

5. How was the structural scale shift determined? How did it respond to the ambiance of indoor and outdoor spaces?

The use of variant unit splicing in our design was partly dominated by the initial design intent, but also responded to environmental sensitivities. The project covered an area of 5000 m² and an interior area of about 4000 m², of which the scale was relatively large. To build such a large volume in a bird sanctuary was an interrogation to the design strategy. Our response was to conceal the scale of the building as much as possible. When you look at the architecture on the levee from a distance, you can find a series of Y-shaped structures that look like a flock of big birds landing in the wetland, which is from a non-technical interpretation. When you reach the trestle connecting the buildings, the first thing that comes into your view is the east façade of the main building, which is the side face of one unit. The reversed roof is supported by columns and it’s hard to figure out its dimension. Walking along the trestle, the north façade of the main building gradually shows up. It is composed of nine units varying in size and height, hidden in the shadow of the large cantilevered roof and separated from each other, creating something conflicting and ambiguous. At the end of the trestle, you arrive at the west side of the main building and you will realize that the scale of the construction is not that small. When you enter the building from the south entrance, you will find a space with dynamic scales. As the scale of the building is changing all the time, one can understand the relationship between human and space through different scales. It was a successful part in this project to use simple transformation and repetition to realize the ambiguity and redefine the architectural scale.

 

6. How could the design of the roof reflect the idea of sustainability? What effect will it have on the birds and other creatures? How do you maintain the roof?

Covering the roof with plants was an idea that was decided upon before the house was even formed. We used reinforced concrete to cast a huge set of structures and the roof turned out to be a particularly sensitive subject. How to make such a large roof concealed? The geometric outline of the roof will be visible from a distance and will not be a burden to the senses. However, when people climbed onto the roof, we wanted them to have a feeling that is not purely geometric. To achieve this goal, we adopted two methods. Firstly, we mulched the bottom of the roof valley with earth and planted some non-maintenance plants that people could walk on. The appearance of the plants would change with the seasons, flourishing in spring and summer and getting withered in autumn and winter, in keeping with the reeds in the wetland. Secondly, we covered the sloped roof with reeds. I could not accept the huge concrete roof to be exposed. Due to the high humidity of the environment, ordinary aluminum panels could not last long, and other man-made materials were too expensive to apply. Phragmites australis, which are abundant around the site, are sturdier than freshwater reeds, making them suitable for a straw roof. What’s more, this material is locally sourced and is able to be manufactured by local reed weavers. Straw roofs have a lifespan and need to be replaced after about five years, a turnover that architects and homeowners agree on. We did not look for a permanent solution, and such a replacement of the roof allows the building to have a relationship with the environment, which reflects a certain simplicity of sustainable thinking.

 

7. How could you make a concrete structure look lighter? What was the difference between wood formwork on the inside and outside surfaces of the concrete structure? What was your consideration on color, quality and texture?

The structure of the building mainly influenced the perception of people below the roof. A sort of simulated natural effect was created above the roof, while below it we provided a completely artificial interface. We wanted the underside of the structure to be flat from the start without exposing the beams. Some of the V-shaped roofs are very close to the ground at their base, and the closest concrete roof structure in the research building is only 1.5 meters from the ground, which is a deliberate attempt to create the feeling of drilling through. People would feel a huge, abstract, and continuous undulating interface while the natural wood grain of the concrete surface enhances the sense of scale. The small-scaled textures, together with the imperfections caused by inappropriate construction, became a basic point for people to understand the space and feel the scale. The way we used to compose the space made heavy structure never a problem again. It was not necessary to pursue lightness in the structure itself. Some of the large cantilevers extend outward, some are interrupted or connected by skylights open naturally to the sky. In fact, wooden textured concrete can provide a relatively heavy feeling. If I were only looking for lightness in the material itself, it might be much easier for me to apply smooth concrete surfaces like Ando Tadao. However, I had two considerations for this. Firstly, I wanted the roof to be textured, and its coexistence with the lightness and openness of the space could create an interesting contradiction. Secondly, the construction of the concrete was limited by resources. If we wanted to make smooth and flawless concrete, despite precise control of the formwork, we should also ensure that there would be no colour difference of the material. It required the concrete manufacturer to keep some tanks specifically for this project, which would increase the cost by more than 30 to 40 percent. Our client had no experience in house building. Our construction team specialized in hydraulic engineering construction, and although highly skilled in concrete construction, they were not good at doing a detailed house construction. Considering all the possible situations, we chose to use wood-moulded concrete, which was considered as a more fault-tolerant construction method. We have used this method many times in our previous projects with limited resource so that we were relatively experienced in such type of construction. It doesn’t matter if the concrete surface is uneven or partially patched with wood mold marks. I even asked the workers to stagger the formwork by 1 or 2 centimeters in order to naturally create a strong uneven concrete texture.

The formwork was made of 30cm wide pine boards, which are raw material grade boards in the wood products industry and can be cut into floor boards or slabs we usually use (30cm wide, 4cm thick and 4m long). Such large-scaled boards could create more intense effects on the large concrete structure. We applied carbonization treatment on the boards before they were put into use, which could make the texture more distinct. The same formwork was used for all exposed concrete structure except for the reed-covered portion of the roof, creating a more homogeneous wooden texture. In the early design scheme, the inner surface of the building was also made of concrete. However, a leader of the client was concerned that it would make the house look too cold, so we adjusted the design and covered all non-load-bearing walls with wooden boards recycled from the concrete formwork. The formwork was used once on the front and once on the back, and we recycled most of the formwork, cutting it down the middle to form 18-millimeter thick common panels with one new side and the other one old. The new side was applied in the interior while the old side was used on part of the exterior that was not built of concrete. The wooden formwork was piled up after use and exposed to wind and rain, which caused oxidization on the surface of the material, turning out different hues of gray. We used a normal mix for the concrete and did not control for color differences. To construct the structure, we cast the columns first and then the roofs. Different roofs might be casted by different batches of concrete with different colors. However, since the roofs and columns did not meet horizontally from each other, the color difference did not actually become a problem.

 

8. There are a large number of joints between glass and concrete in the project. How was the quality of such joints controlled during construction? How to reduce the ecological impact of the construction process?

We used common methods to construct the joints between the concrete roofs and the glass. We didn’t use complicated methods like slotting on the concrete and making water proofing belts. What we did was to install frames on the flat concrete surface and then apply water proofing treatment between the frame and the concrete. The glass façade was equivalent to a single-layer of curtain wall and the size of the glass panels was relatively conventional, which would not cause much problems in construction.

The use of large areas of glass was a contradictory choice. It was beneficial to people as they could see panoramic view through the huge glass façade as if placing themselves in the wetland. However, after the scheme was approved by the client, the staffs working in the conservation area were alerted to the fact that the glass façade was not friendly to birds because they might not realize the glass and bump into it. To solve this problem, we installed a large amount of shading grille on the façade. Except for most of the lower part of the façade, we also added grille to the upper part of the building where people don’t particularly need to see out. We originally wanted to make the grille with the remaining timber formwork, but the reed-covered roofs were already a challenge for us. It was hard to accept using timber grille on the façade because it would not last long in the local environment and had to be maintained and exchanged by professional workers, which would be hard to control. Eventually, we chose aluminum alloy as the material for the grille. Considering all the factors, although the overall effect would not as effective as the timber, it was acceptable because it didn’t need much maintenance. At the end of the last year, we captured a photo of a bird nesting between the grille, which shows that the design of the grille could also benefit the birds, and to some extent establishes a relationship between the architecture and the eco-environment.

If the project was located in an existing wetland, even if artificially restored, we would somehow feel guilty for such large-scale construction, doubting for its necessity: should we build such a huge facility in a paradise of birds? However, what makes this project special is that it is part of a 20-square-kilometer ecosystem restoration project. The construction of the education center was processed simultaneously with the reconstruction of the wetland. We had started to build the house before the site was dredged and the water was never let in until the construction was finished, creating the effect of floating on the water and connecting the building to the wetland. Under this context, the construction of the project would not cause ethical problems because it was a carrier for a particular human-land relationship.

 

9. What considerations were given to deal with the relationship between the birds and the building?

It is not easy for architects to understand the birds like experts. What we could do was to achieve a certain level of friendly to the birds. The methods should be evaluated and confirmed by the feedback from the environment. A bird watching house is basically designed as a sheltered volume so that people could hide themselves while observing the birds. But our project was not only for bird watching, it was a place for scientific research, exhibition and public education. The project was not competing with the birds for the space. It was merely located in a small corner of the 20-square-kilometer wetland. The only thing we should consider was to prevent birds from colliding on the architecture. But we had made some small mistakes in the design. There are two courtyards in the main building and we found that if a bird accidentally flies into the courtyard, it can not escape by itself. To keep the birds from getting into the courtyards, the administrative staff of the wetland covered the courtyards with meshes. As an architect, I did not anticipate this disadvantage at the beginning. If we had predicted it earlier, we would pay more attention to the design of the courtyard, making it able for birds to escape from. Looking at the project as a whole, we made a relatively soft, vegetated sloping roof that allows  the possibility for birds to stay at its bottom. We also compensated the glass façade with bird-friendly grille, minimizing the possible destruction on the living environment for the birds.

 

10. What is the biggest difference between this project and your previous projects? What challenges did you face in this project?

The environmental qualities of this project was different from our previous projects. Most of our projects are in the city, even if it is located in the countryside, the environment is of strong artificial intervention. These spaces are people-oriented and the houses are built for people. The project in Dongtan seemed located in the first nature, but it is in fact the second nature formed after the strong human intervention. The difference was that people would leave this environment to the birds and never compete with them. At the beginning of the project, I was only vaguely aware of this feature of the environment and our design responded to the following question: how to build a people-oriented building that could also stand in an environment that is not made for people? Mr. Lu Andong have also mentioned this issue in his review for this project. He concluded that although all the design methods applied in this house were people-oriented, the entire design idea and the final result touched the relationship between human and nonhuman beings. When I first visited the site, I was impressed by its enthusiasm and imagination. We used design to face and discuss the relationship between human and nature in such a unique site and responded to this issue in different scales, from the landscape to the building and its surroundings, which was different from our usual projects. We were faced with an uncertain future, but we had to design towards a certain one. It was a challenge that all architects will face with, but the difference was that the site itself  in this project was uncertain. The building was going to be constructed in an ambiguous and contradictory environment between man-made and non-man-made, and this specific context posed a great challenge to the design. We grasped the basic feelings and some original psychological perceptions of people during the design, which has also been a strong preference in my personal practice. Usually we do not rely too much on the operation of the form. Architecture in purely artificial environments seems to have strong systematic and rational components, which needs to be controlled by strong physical forms. This project gave us an opportunity to rethink about how to use our design intent to conspire with the future in an environment full of contradictions and uncertainties.

 

11. What is the most satisfactory part of the project?

We spent 6 years on this small project from design to completion and we had encountered many difficulties during this process. The client was not professional and the construction team had a specificity in their technique. The cost of the construction was also limited. However, the client persisted in the project with us and obtained a relatively satisfactory result. First of all, the space and the environment as a whole have basically achieved the design goal. The building was not a purely void space. There could be things happening in the space and people could participate in. Secondly, the client was more satisfied with the result than us on some level. Although there were a lot of technical aspects of the construction that I wasn’t very happy with, the managers of the site was gratified that the project could be going to the end and reached a relatively desirable result. Having been though a variety of difficulties and unexpected things in the past few years, they had become almost half a professional in such constructions, and their pursuit in this project was one of the key reasons that it could be successfully completed.

 

12. What is your consideration on the project’s potential for future use? What changes and enhancements might it bring to the neighborhood?

The building is not yet officially put into use. Since the project is located in a protected area, it has limited access. I hope that with the proper functioning of the bird sanctuary, the project can be more widely used, especially on a public education level. Dongtan is a grand ecosystem restoration project and it will bring long-term natural benefits, which should be known by more people. We hope that Dongtan Research and Education Center can become a platform to discuss the restoration of the wetland, helping the public to understand the significance of environmental projection. Environmental protection is not just about maintaining the natural environment, but also about correcting the mistakes of past generations and using resources to restore the natural environment, like what we have done in Dongtan project. It was both a valuable experience in wetland restoration and a great example to be discussed in the context of nature conservation around the world. Only under this background could this project be built and I hope that it can take up the task of exploring this aspect in the future.

 

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