Hangzhou Damei creative park is located in the north of Xiangshan Campus of China Academy of Art（CAA）, it backed by the rolling Longwu tea mountain. It is a gathering place of many cultural companies.
One year later, our studio realized its second design here - Yitang Music Hub. The construction of the two projects (Front Hall of Tianmei Theater and Yitang Music Hub) caught up with the hottest months in Hangzhou. We received the Commission for the design project of Yitang Music Hub at the end of April this year（2022）. Because the owner hopes to open it in mid-July, we only have one month for design and one and a half months for construction.
Admittedly, the high temperature and short cycle put a lot of pressure on us, but in Hangzhou, there is a rule that the worse the weather, the better the sky. Therefore, when I went to the site, I saw the most beautiful sunset and tea mountain in Hangzhou in July.
Yitang Music Hub is located on the top floor of a relocation building in the park. The building has a four-slope roof. The umbrella shaped shaped roof of the four slopes is supported by six concrete columns. The part enclosed by the six columns is a flat roof above the columns. This structure is very common in Contemporary Chinese architecture and belongs to a form of concrete sloping roof. It clumsily imitates the veranda style of traditional Chinese architecture, but inadvertently responds to the core spatial action of "covering" in architecture, which leaves room for imagination in our design. Then, how can settlements be formed under the umbrella shaped roof? This is what I want to discuss in this design.
With its practical function of shielding from the wind and rain, the covering has become the first demand of living. At the same time, covering has become the most common kind of spatial phenomenon. In a sense, architecture is a subject that discusses the relationship between the covering and various elements. The central bulge collapses around, which is the inherent form of the umbrella shaped cover. The veranda roof and the zenith in Eastern buildings, the zenith and the herringbone roof in western buildings all have a similar structure to the umbrella shaped roof. As a kind of "covering", umbrella shaped is a metaphor of human settlement prototype, and umbrella shaped structure is an important prototype in contemporary architecture.
When I went to the site for the first time on April 17, 2022, my first feeling was that the umbrella shaped structure as a huge covering could be the premise of our design, so how to respond to this structure became the starting point of the design. The space surrounded by the six columns has the characteristics of an axis. The net height of the space supported by the dense columns is 4.8 meters. Its upper part is empty.
Our idea is to respond to the heavy concrete columns and beams with a light and dense textured wood structure as an intermediary, and then insert the room into the wood frame to fill the hollow umbrella like structure.
In order to create this "sense of density", we first planted a birch square beam column with a cross-section of 150mm square between the six columns and the outer wall, and fixed it to the concrete column with metal pieces at a height of 2400mm, thus weaving a human scale structure. The biggest difference between this structure and the original concrete column beam is that birch is a warm material that people are willing to touch, and it is kind and approachable.
As a result, a space dominated by the new wood frame appeared on the first floor. The wood frame outlined rooms of different sizes. Some of these wooden boxes of different sizes were close to each other, and some of them were facing each other in the corridor. They gathered together and whispered, forming the first floor of the settlement.
Continuously paying attention to and responding to the existing context from the beginning to the end of the design is the operation mode we have always adhered to in building renovation. The dialogue between new syntax and existing elements makes people aware of multiple paradoxes such as old and new, up and down, cold and warm.
For example, the skin of the partition wall of the entrance staircase is actually assembled again after the original indoor laminate floor is removed; The first layer of birch box skin is divided into two types, one with grating and the other without grating, implying different room functions and internal and external differences; The piano room on the second floor uses aluminum plates as the skin, reflecting the umbrella shaped roof and avoiding the tension between the rooms. It should be known that the temperature of the loft floor in summer is very high, and the appearance of the metal skin also reduces the temperature of the space physically and visually.
In addition, the sculptural air corridor seems to divide the height of the space, but in fact it breaks the grandeur and towering feeling in the space at 2400 elevation, In order to dispel the rigidity that completely interrupts the space and divides it into two, we make the ground of the corridor into a translucent metal grid, so that people can feel the light on the first floor when walking on it, and the light on the second floor can penetrate the ground grid and enter the first floor, so the space formed by the first warm skin and the second cold skin is connected.
The transformation of existing buildings in the era of stock is an issue that our studio continues to pay attention to. I advocate to use the ontology language of architecture as the basis to describe space, so that many paradoxical factors such as old and new, inside and outside, height difference, temperature difference, tactility and so on can be reasonably responded to, thereby forming an internal world with a unique atmosphere.