The Lan Xi Curtilage
by Archi-Union

| 9 comments
 

Shanghai studio Archi-Union used differently sized bricks to make waves across the exterior of this restaurant and members' club at a cultural heritage park in Chengdu, China (+ slideshow).

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

The architects used an algorithm to specify nine different brick types, which were laid by hand to create the wave-like texture across each wall.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Sloping roofs visually divide the longitudinal building into separate blocks and their curving shapes were designed by Archi-Union to reference mountains and rivers, as well as a typical form in Chinese architecture.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

"The Lan Xi Curtilage is an interpretation of traditional Chinese architecture through the language of digital fabrication methods," Archi-Union's Crisie Yuan told Dezeen.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

The restaurant and private club are positioned on opposite sides of a central courtyard, where pathways divide the lawn and dictate routes towards different rooms.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

The Lan Xi Curtilage is located at the International Intangible Cultural Heritage Park, which plays host to a biennial festival dedicated to language, music, dance, storytelling, carnivals and rituals.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Earlier this year Archi-Union also completed a teahouse and library with twisted concrete walls.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

Other recent stories from China include skyscrapers inspired by spacecraft and a village of towering apartment blocks in the mountains.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image

See more stories about design in China »
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The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: roof plan - click above for larger image

Photography is by Shen Zhonghai.

Here's some more information from Archi-Union:


The Lan Xi Curtilage

The spatial layout of this project represents a new interpretation of a traditional South China Garden. The multiple layouts of the longitudinal residence and courtyard reflect a hierarchical and multi-dimensional spatial pattern of traditional gardens. The silhouettes of the building's roof embody rolling mountains and rivers, and also function as metaphor of the traditional Chinese sloping roof culture.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: courtyard concept diagram - click above for larger image

The design of the ripple wall derived from a digital interpretation of water, a flexible yet natural conception. We developed an algorithm that mimicked the transient behavior of water, which could be frozen in time allowing a literal architectural expression of its transient behavior. We adapted this algorithm to process a traditional building material, blue bricks, in a staggered joint pattern, in the same way as it produced a surface before, creating a bonded brick pattern with the intrinsic dynamics of water, and providing a light and transparent effect as well as structural walls.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: brickwork pattern diagram - click above for larger image

The design focuses on developing an artistic pattern as well as on creating a feasible fabrication pattern. As a robotic arm was not available to lay the bricks automatically due to financial constraints, the masonry had to be completed manually in order to match the rigorous schedule of the three month construction period. Five kinds of brick joint template were devised and the joint gradient was achieved through the permutation and classification of the five template values, which were translated to a simple brick-laying schedule. The finished building is testament that light and shadow playing across the façade embody the dynamic effects of water. A careful combination of digital design and lo-tec fabrication to actualize digital fabrication exactly reflects the combination of digital technologies and local materials and fabrication.

The Lan Xi Curtilage by Archi-Union

Above: roof structure diagram - click above for larger image

Location: International Intangible Cultural Heritage Park, Chengdu, China
Client: Chengdu Qingyang Suburb Construction & Development Co., Ltd.
Area: Approx 4000m2
Design: June, 2008 - March, 2009
Construction: April, 2010 - October, 2011
Architect: Philip F. Yuan / Archi-Union Architect

  • scr24

    Rigorous attention to cultural and immediate context, subtle good design.

  • http://www.vloerkleden.nl Hanzie

    Beautiful design. The different brick sizes are an idea to remember. Definitely a favorite.

  • god

    Absolutely brilliant, sort of reminds me of how old castle walls would have different patterns from when they were extended/renovated centuries after.

  • fon

    Love it. The ingenuity of a culture-specific design set to modern architectural language.

  • Tye

    Spectacular! To me this is architecture in all its elegance. Well done!

  • T,.T

    Damn, members only.

  • http://twitter.com/Eo267 @Eo267

    In my point of view the building envelope looks like it is covered with fish or snake scales, nicely done!

  • marguerif

    Successful example of last generation tools teamed up with care for the context. Culture-friendly architectural design. Love it.

  • rac

    Excellent contemporary use of digital software to redo vernacular. A bit literal in terms of massing and form, but overall a good show of locality and materiality.

    Would want to see some interior images though, especially from the points marked in the diagram. “A robotic arm was not available to lay the bricks automatically due to financial constraints,” is in a way a win-win situation in a country like China where skilled labour can be educated and their skill evolved to get a product like this, giving them good labour wages and in return producing a “hand crafted” building like that! Kudos to the architects.