Architecture and design firm Studio505 has recently completed the Lotus Building in Wujin, China.
The Lotus Building in Wujin, China:
Located in the heart of Wujin, the burgeoning southern district of Changzhou, Jiangsu PRC, the Lotus Building and the 3.5 hectare People’s Park have been designed to act as a cultural anchor and civic landmark – establishing a symbolic commitment of the local government’s ambitions and future aspirations.
The brief called for a public building and park that would embody a unique variety of civic nodes and public spaces. The Lotus Building is an addition to an existing double-story subterranean municipal facility situated beneath an existing artificial lake. The building houses parts of the planning bureau and new exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and conference centers.
This landmark aims to bring longevity and depth to the community, set a new standard for architectural ambition in the area, and stimulate further urban development. The physical form of the building has been determined by the need to create a structure with a distinctive presence; a character piece in a city can be anonymous in parts like so many other rapidly developing Chinese cities. The development, ultimately, seeks to generate participation, build ownership of the place that ties to the community, and entices its people to stay and flourish and not to be drawn away.
Conceived as an inhabited sculptural form emerging naturally from the lake, the visitor enters from beneath and is greeted with a cathedral-like revelation of space. Colour and light combine and illuminate, creating a bright and uplifting interior atmosphere, no matter the weather. Transitioned and graded color is applied to the side of the petal ribs, creating a deep hue only at the edge of the structure. Hand laid and varied white, beige, and stainless steel hexagon mosaic tile finishes cover all external and internal surfaces; merging seamlessly to create a continuous form with studio505’s bespoke 7m high suspended chandelier at the apex, becoming the focus of attention inside and out.
The project has been designed to minimize energy usage- with over 2500 geothermal piles driven through the base of the artificial lake; the entire lake water mass and ground beneath are utilized to pre-cool (summer) and pre-warm (winter) the air conditioning systems for both the lotus and the two-story building beneath the lake. The project is also mixed mode and naturally ventilated and utilizes evaporative cooling from the lake surface to drive a thermal chimney within the central flower pod.
The Lotus Centre and People’s Park has become one of the most famous landmarks in Wujin, with a sustained contribution to the social and cultural life of the city. Studio 505’s design creates a vibrant public realm. The key is a night lighting system devised to hold a series of changing natural color combinations for 20 seconds before slowly transitioning to the next scene over 10 seconds.
Photos by: John Gollings
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