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Carving Architecture, Constructing the Beauty of Space and Order

Johnny 2018-04-11 09:34

Song Zhaoqing once made the remark that an architect is an occupation taking longer than others to blossom. Anyway, a genius is too hard to find. Most architect candidates must endure the difficulties and adversaries all the way along and after countless setbacks and attempts could they produce satisfactory pieces of work.

Behind his neat and comfy cotton suit hides a humble heart which accumulates graces of elegance. Under the guise of black-framed glasses is a pair of eyes of wisdom and profundities as if concealed with abstruse consciousness. Some people say an architect’s brain is unstoppable. While for Song Zhaoqing, his first half of life is accompanied by continuous deep thinking. During his decades of professional career, challenges and chances have always been his companion. Each step is so concrete and the so-called “instant success”, however, has never come into his mind.

After graduate study from Tsinghua University, Song did not choose to further study abroad. Rather, he headed for Japan and joined one of the most famous architecture firms – Nikken Sekkei Ltd, hoping to get acquainted with the practical procedures of architectural projects with real experiences, as well as the most advanced and edgy designing ideas and management methods. Song started his career at Nikken as an ordinary draftsman and gradually took on all the processes of project designing. In 1998, Song was dispatched by Nikken to Shanghai to chair the Xintiandi Reconstruction Project. It took him three years to complete this massive commercial complex but also gave him the chance to witness the bright future and great opportunities of Chinese architecture. Since 2001, after Song finished his professional training at Nikken, he established his own business.

“Creating Architect” is an early concept proposed by Song. He even wrote an essay to elaborate on this idea. In his eyes, an architect should not put the focus of design on drafting paper, but onto the issue of how to reach the perfection of the works themselves. One should know every material’s features at heart, as well as the ins and outs of constructing details and coordination of different disciplines. As of the core issue – how to design, he argues that a mature architect should combine the current need, technologies, craftsmanship and above all, the feasibility of the works together, to implement his ideas.

 

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Among Song’s recent works, Diamond of Wenzhou (China Resources), say, is the most prominent one. The project originates from the idea of a diamond. The design strengthens the avant garde of architecture and the creativity of space and materials, as well as the combination of indoor and outdoor environments. On an arc-shaped open space, multiple axes stretch, interweave and construct walls in different directions. Seemingly in a clutter, however, the structure abides by its inner rule and centers with a diamond born from the earth. The entrance hall is steel-frame structured and hanged with printed glass wall. The glass wall reflects the silhouette of trees, giving you a sense of greatness and mysteriousness. The exterior design extends its core idea – streamline design, to the indoor space, which features the fashionable, abundant and international lifestyle.

While the CIFI Headquarters aims at presenting the conflict of “heavy” and “light” and tries to materialize a kind of harmony from the conflict. As Steven Holl once said, the essence of a work of architecture is an organic link between concept and form. The form of architecture, moreover, need to explain the philosophical attitude of insouciance and tranquility. Hence, under the disguise of heaviness and dullness hides a light and delicate form to extend the corporate culture. And this is exactly the lightness and simplicity which modern architecture and aesthetics pursue.


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Greentown Taolichunfen Community Center is in a scenery corner among deep forests of Yunlong Town, Haikou City. As a boutique hotel enriched with local characteristics, the architecture faces a natural lake and is surrounded by a primordial forest. The local residences are mainly structured by stone and wood while the “new-comer” is hybrid wood-steel structure in which sense the design not only secures the stability of the building but also shortens the distance between human and nature. Henceforth, the structure is more relaxed and free. The architecture doesn’t need to cover for its structural frame and boldly exposes its steel framework and other details to the air. Before one starts designing, he should think over what this place needs. Since after completion, the building must fit into its surrounding environment, just as if it’s “born” from the very earth.

Architecture should be the visual image language that touches people and echoes the deepest part of human beings. While whether the environmental quality the architecture creates could construct the beauty of space and order, is the critical parameter in deciding how the world would judge and react to the piece of work. As of this point, architecture design is nothing different from painting, music, sculpture and other art forms.


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