Under the Zhengyangmen is an axonometric panorama created by Drawing Architecture Studio (DAS) for the co-working brand Ucommune for its branch at Dajiang Hutong in Beijing. Taking the Qianmen area where Ucommune is located as the subject, DAS explores the application of inclining oblique projection, rotated explosion, and road network in the panorama and tries to reveal the representational power of architectural drawing that transcends the reality while recording it.
▼建筑空间内的《正阳门下》，Under the Zhengyangmen in the interior space
斜轴测在中国传统的绘画中被反复使用——视角基本为端正的立面向45度角斜向拉出空间深度，主要建筑的立面保持水平竖直。在李西茨基（El Lissitzky）的斜轴测绘画里，端正的立面开始倾斜。扎哈（Zaha Hadid）受李西茨基的影响，用倾斜的轴测画建筑图。凭借建筑构件的导入，扎哈将李西茨基的抽象的至上主义绘画具象化，将建筑绘画抽象化。斜轴测从此不仅是一种数学上高度准确的图纸，记录现实的工具，它还是一种抽象的观念和美学范式。
Oblique projection was widely used in traditional Chinese paintings. The straight façade is stretched into a spatial depth in a 45-degree angle while the façade is kept horizontal and vertical. In El Lissitzky’s oblique projection paintings, the straight elevation starts to incline. Following his experiments, Zaha Hadid adopted inclining oblique projection in her architectural drawings. By integrating architectural components, Hadid visualized Lissitzky’s abstract Suprematist paintings and abstracted architectural drawings. Since then, oblique projection is no longer only a mathematically accurate drawing as a tool to document the reality, but has become an abstract concept and aesthetic paradigm.
▼从远处看画作全景，view of the whole painting from distance
Inspired by Lissitzky and Hadid’s approach, in Under the Zhengyangmen, DAS inclines the oblique projection of the original houses depicted in the panorama and brings a sense of unfamiliarity to the familiar architecture and neighborhood. El Lissitzky once said that axonometric projection is the proun between architecture and painting. To DAS, it is also the proun between the figurative and abstract.
▼画面中的斜轴测建筑再次被倾斜，为原来熟悉的空间带来陌生感，architecture in the oblique projection is inclined again to achieve a sense of unfamiliarity
Exploded axonometric projection is to open up each component of a complex architecture by moving it horizontally or vertically, so that the viewer can restore the component’s original position in mind. However, in a rotated exploded projection, the sliding of the architectural component is no longer a simple rectilinear movement. The sliding path is curvilinear and the angle of the component itself also keeps changing during the curvilinear sliding process. Although the rotated sliding is also used to reveal the blocked objects, the curve and rotation inject new energy to the explosion.
▼以爆炸轴测图为背景的空间细部， detail of the space took the exploded axonometric projection as background
As an architect can create complex space out of a box by rotating simple volumes, similarly, when an existing architectural drawing is turned into a rotated exploded axonometric projection, a new architecture is actually designed. In Under the Zhengyangmen, the buildings are deliberately destroyed as if they are killing each other. Being sliced, exploded, and rotated, the roofs, slabs, and façades fly away from their original positions and together compose some new architecture in order to create a more spectacular space in the drawing. Destroy becomes another kind of creation.
▼建筑被刻意破坏，飞出原有位置构成新的建筑，the buildings are deliberately destroyed and fly away from their original positions and together compose some new architecture
The road network in the Qianmen area is unusually irregular compared to those in other areas of Beijing. The map of this area itself is a fantastic graphic composition. To a city, roads are transportation and flow lines. To a drawing, roads are the baselines of the composition. They fragment the drawing, as if they do to the city. But paradoxically, they in fact also connect different elements in the drawing. In Under the Zhanegyangmen, the road network is used as a tool for composition and connection. The roads, as some long and narrow graphics, both slice and stitch the panorama at the same time.
▼不规则路网成为构图与连接工具，irregular road network is used as a tool for composition and connection
The meticulous details presented in Under the Zhengyangmen are drawn from the actual scenery of the Qianmen area, but are not meant for documentation, representation or narrative. They are to design the oblique, rotated, fragmented, and nesting projection of the reality in the two-dimensional world. Everything figurative in Under the Zhengyangmen is abstracted, while everything realistic is virtualized.
▼《正阳门下》全景轴测图，axonometric panorama Under the Zhengyangmen