Water Tower Pavilion (Renovation) / META-Project


Project Specs

Design Firm:

Appreciation towards META-Project for providing the following description:


META-Project, a Beijing based research-design studio has recently completed a
renovation for VANKE China that infused new life into the dilapidated water tower in an
exquisite way.




(up 上图)panorama with the context 水塔全景及周边环境



This water tower is located in the campus of a run down military factory, formerly known
as the People’s Liberation Army No.1102 Factory, founded in 1959 during the Great
Leap Forward. As used to be one of the most important heavy industrial production
bases of China, the Tiexi District in Shen Yang is now full of miscellaneous industrial
relics from that period of time. Water towers scattered around the city became the
unique symbols of the history of industrialization in this area, marking vaguely the anchor
points in the ever-shifting reality. Since 2010, the transformation around this water tower
began. VANKE China acquired the campus of the factory and initiated the Blue
Mountains residential complex project. Along with the decisive construction of the
surrounding cities, the water tower was well preserved – as the fragmented memory of
the history of industrialization, and was expected to provide certain public function in the



(left左)panorama with the context 水塔全景及周边环境
(right右)exterior perspective 水塔远景


位于铁西区遗留的工业肌理与即将兴起的复合型居住社区之间的边缘上; 而在时间
汇点上。 我们藉此展开了如何将这一水塔置于连续时空中的改造思路,而并不是将其

长”出来。 水塔的底部,连接入口与抬高的观景平台之间用回收的红砖砌成可坐的台
这里向上看, 水塔成为一个间接的感受外部世界的感觉器官,光线从顶部的光漏斗及

鲜明信号… 透过这个水塔的改造,我们提出询问,将如何看待这段历史?又如何理解

For META-Project, the water tower, which is re-interpreted as a “Public Folly”, has
provided deliberate clues: spatially, it is situated on the edge in-between the inherited
industrial fabric of Tiexi District and an upcoming residential complex development;
temporally, it is sitting on the dividing line, where Tiexi has deviated from the industrial
past and accelerating towards a different future. Setting off from the precise positioning
with the context, both physical and historical, we started to unfold the concept of the
renovation along the continuation of space-time, instead of taking it as an isolated
event. The renovated water tower, or the “water tower pavilion”, on the outside forms an
artistic intervention in the urban landscape, and on the inside it offers a space for public
activities for the surrounding communities, and even above the mundane usage, it could
became a place for some sort of public spiritualization.

The cautions with which specific renovation measurements are made demonstrate
circumspection. They are being examined on how to embed a new reality in a historical
sample: it is not one that can be easily dismissed as conservative, and neither a jubilant
welcoming of the new globalizing reality. The tower is specifically adapted to a local
context, yet without turning into a pure replica of that context. On one hand, we want to
keep the original water tower intact, only allowing necessary structural reinforcement
and minor treatment on the existing window openings; on the other hand, the new
installation – quite an exquisite device – was inserted into the interior tunnel of the
tower. Two end-to-end funnels form the main part of the installation. While the smaller
funnel on the top gathering daylight, the bigger one shapes the space in the middle with
a seemingly endless depth, and is linked to many camera-lens-like window frames,
which grow out of the tower body from every possible opening. On the bottom of the
tower, theater steps are made to link the entrance and the view platform, which will
become a “mini-theater” providing space for activities or projection for the local public.
From there, the water tower becomes a simple sensory device of the external world, an
ear, or a viewfinder…

The installation represents the new reality with steel and glass. Clear geometries as well
as vibrant colors are implemented so as to make a strong tension with the old brick wall
of the tower. Every night, as the heavy water tower gradually faded in the darkness, the
bright light boxes will become distinct signals floating in the air. Symbolizing a quest to
seek out the hidden corner of the history and archetypes of architecture. Through
renovation of the water tower, META-Project posts the question again on how to look at
the history and how to understand the changing reality?



exterior view 水塔外景



(left左)exterior perspective 水塔远景
(mid中)night view 水塔夜景
(right右)2.5 night view partial 水塔夜景(局部)



exterior view partial 水塔外景(局部) &  close-up view 水塔近景



exterior view-up  外部仰视



exterior view-up  外部仰视  &  close-up view 水塔近景



close-up view 水塔近景



close-up view 水塔近景



(left 左)close-up view 水塔近景
(right up右上)original water tower in factory 原厂区中水塔
(right down右下)original interior view-up 原状内部仰视



mini theater inside the water tower 水塔内部小剧场



mini theater inside the water tower 水塔内部小剧场



(left 左)mini theater inside the water tower 水塔内部小剧场
(right右)from mini theater to the viewing platform  从小剧场通向景观平台


项目名称: 水塔展廊(改造) Water Tower Pavilion (Renovation)
项目地点: 中国,沈阳-铁西区
项目功能:  极小展示空间,mini剧场,观景平台
基地面积: 20 m2
建筑面积: 30 m2
设计/建成: 2011/2012
业主:  万科企业股份有限公司
建筑师: META-工作室 (META-Project)
设计团队: 王硕、张婧、常倩倩、黄丽妙、林昌炎、汤恒
摄影:  陈溯

Project:    Water Tower Pavilion (Renovation)
Location:    Shenyang – Tiexi District, China
Program:   X-small exhibition space, Mini Theatre, Viewing deck
Site Area:  20 m2
Built Area:  30 m2
Design/Completion: 2011/2012
Client:  China VANKE Co., Ltd.
Architect:  META-Project (www.meta-project.org)
Design Team:  Wang Shuo, Zhang Jing, Chang Qianqian, Huang Limiao, Lin
Changyan, Tang Heng
Photo by:  Chen Su



concept diagram 概念图示



exploded axon drawing 轴测展开图



overall axon drawing 整体轴测图 &  view up and down 向上看与向下看



Plans 标高平面



(left 左)Section N-S 南北方向剖面
(right右)Section E-W 东西方向剖面


META-工作室 创立合伙人
建筑师,城市研究学者, 策展人
建筑设计事务所(OMA)的一系列城市规划及建筑项目,包括RAK Gateway City – 荣
获2009全球城市景观与商业地产大奖(Cityscape and International Business Award),
BBC伦敦总部战略规划,以及新加坡凯德The Interlace创新住宅项目, 并作为项目建筑

Shuo Wang
Founding Partner of META-Project
An architect, researcher and curator based in Beijing
Wang Shuo received his B. Arch. from Tsinghua University in Beijing and M. Arch. from
Rice University. He has practiced extensively in New York, Rotterdam and Beijing in the
field of architecture and urbanism research. Projects located from New York, Chicago,
London, and UAE to major South East Asia cities, Shanghai and Beijing. He had
worked for OMA on various large scale projects including RAK Gateway City – which
won the 2009 Cityscape and International Business Award, BBC London headquarter
strategic planning, and Interlace – a residential project in Singapore. As project
architect for OMA’s Beijing office, he worked on the tallest tower complex in Bangkok –
MahaNakhon. Wang Shuo left OMA in 2009 to focus on the practice of META-Project
with partner Zhang Jing and Max Fu.
The work of Wang Shuo is characterized by a research driven approach, and is
intended to bridge design and research with interdisciplinary collaboration. One of his
main interests of research has been the intensifying urban dynamics in contemporary
metropolis in Asia and new forms of emergent urban spaces. He has developed a
series of urban research projects and is actively extending the idea into multiple
dimensions of contemporary medium, including writing, video, web¬site, art installation
and exhibition.

MORE:  META-Project


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