This is a project to design the facade of an exhibition center for a business area. The original proposal is a 34.6x19.4m square box with three levels. The second and third floors are set back by 5.1m on the north side to reserve a platform space for the future connection with the walkway.
The entrance foyer, exhibition space and gallery are on the first floor; the second floor contains the sand table display (two-story space), a cafe and a reception hall; the third floor houses private offices and meeting room. The early facade design is a hidden frame supported curtain wall, however, the client was concerned that the current status of construction in China could not guarantee the final presentation of the hidden frame supported glass curtain wall. Therefore, they came to us to design a new facade for the building.
For the facade design itself, we just need to create an aesthetical building skin by clarifying the relationship between forms and solids/voids, and by finely controlling material, proportion and scale. However, architectural design should have a complete logic system, a more holistic concept, and must respond to all the factors related to architecture, such as landscape, ventilation and shading, lighting, interior space and environment.
These “responses” are what we usually call architectural expressions. It is reflected not only in the shape, space and functional organization of the building, but also in the design of the facade. On the contrary, we can also maximize the “architectural design” of the facade.
We studied the original facade design, and found out that the relationship between the facade and the column grid was arbitrarily handled. The distances between the facade units and the columns varied and some of the glass frame clashed with columns. From experience, this means a heavy workload for the subsequent design of the facade, landscape, interior design etc.
Fortunately, the span of the columns is basically fixed at 6m or 9m. Therefore, we took the bold step of creating a square grid of 1500mm x 1500mm based on the axial grid. The plan of the building were rearranged and adjusted under the control of the grid. This adjustment affected the shape of almost all sides of the original design, including the evacuation staircases attached to the main building on the east side of the site.
The definition of the square grid, on the one hand, regulates the relationship between the columns and the facade, and on the other hand, it integrates the curtain wall, the landscape and the interior design. This curtain wall system establishes the form system of the entire building. When making this decision of modification, the construction had already done to the first floor according to the original proposal, but the client, the contractor and the curtain wall consulter still fully supported the new scheme design.
The so-called “reversal” refers to our unique curtain wall system in which the traditional horizontal and vertical interior frames are moved to the outside, which is known in the industry as the “reversal frame curtain wall system”.
Compared with traditional curtain wall systems, this method is more likely to create a flat and clean interior surface. The horizontal and vertical framing system is not visible from the inside, and the glass facade is directly facing the interior. In terms of the exterior of the building, the frame becomes the decorative lines of the curtain wall. In this case, it is more than a simple ornament, but a comprehensive tectonic component that involves the structure of the facade, decoration and design of spatial interfaces. And it is this “comprehensiveness” that is the focus of the design. In addition, the exterior frames can be freely incorporated with the decorative exterior wall panels, which greatly expands the possibilities for changing the expression of the facade.
Within the framework of this facade system, three types of architectural expressions take shape: solid surface, transparent surface and a combination of the former two.
Spaces such as media rooms, equipment rooms, elevator shafts, evacuation staircases and other ancillary programs are treated on the exterior with a solid surface.
Three facades of the first floor are designed into transparent glass curtain walls, which make the interior of the building fully visible to the western and southern main streets of the city and to the northern inner street of the site, respectively.
The second and the third floors are mounted with perforated metal panels outside the glass curtain walls of the east, south and west facades, bringing a noticeable contrast to the transparent glass material of the first floor; The 'solid' visual treatment of the facades to the east, south and west sets off the iconic double-height glass wall that showcases a sand table exhibition area on the second floor to the south side of the building, connecting to the area by a walkway.
The perforated panel is designed to be a curve, and the holes spread out from the middle, and gradually become small in size. Therefore, it is permeable at human height, softening the sense of enclosure by the perforated panel outside the glass facade.
The shape of the hole was chosen after several options, and finally the logo shape of the Excellence Group was picked out - a rhombus shape. In terms of detail handling, the visible facets of the horizontal and vertical frames, the decorative panel of the electric gate, etc. are corner filleted, which corresponds to the shape of the perforated plate, thus making the overall configuration of the architecture more consistent. Meanwhile, the arc shape is more sensual compared to hard edges, which renders the exhibition center rational and solemn at the same time with a touch of ingenious essence.
参数化设计：MONO DESIGN & BUILD
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