Rongcheng City, located at the easternmost point of Shandong Province, where extends into the sea. It has a three-kilometer-long winding coastline and plenty of beautiful sandy beaches. Its small-town charm and paradise-like simplicity attract people tend to linger there.
"Echo of the Sea" is located in Rongcheng Ailian Bay Scenic Area, backed by Swan Lake. Swans travel south from Siberia to spend the winter, and lotus flowers bloom in summer. Therefore, this beach in Ailian Bay is very popular with nearby residents and tourists.
The beach was scattered with outdated basic facilities. The developer hopes to integrate the original scattered functions, and connect the entire beach landscape belt through the new characteristic building, to make space come alive.
When The design team has the opportunity to build a characteristic building by the sea, thinking about how to respond to nature easily and interestingly becomes the primary entry point of the design. While satisfying the basic service functions, it does not affect the existing natural landscape as much as possible. Therefore, how to grasp the balance between "hidden" and "explicit", "external scale" and "internal space" has also become a consideration throughout the project.
The building simulates the shape of a shell. The façade facing the land is a small sand dune extending from the ground, which naturally blends into the beach; while the façade facing the sea responds to the vastness through the mirror-reflection curved glass. The sea also creates a 360-degree panoramic audio-visual dual sensory feast.
The overall shape of the building, from a semi-circular arc with a diameter of 18 meters, is gently sloped to a semi-circular arc with a diameter of 40 meters on the ground, and finally connects with the beach lightly. The building height can be divided into three-space semi-rings: The height from 0 to 1.2M is the area that cannot be used for concrete filling; the height of 1.2 to 2.4M is the distribution room of the whole building and the wiring area of air-conditioning, water, electricity, and other equipment pipelines; 2.4 to 3.6M height sets the main function.
Among them, a cafe is set at the wider end on the north side, with greater depth and height. The cafe opens its sliding doors to get the maximum view of the sea and sufficient sunlight to the south. The narrower end on the south side is equipped with the functions of vending machines and children's corners. There are two passages inserted into the arc slope in the middle to guide visitors from the Swan Lake trail to enter the circular corridor inside the building, where a foot bath, toilet, and shower are designed by combining the two passages.
Behind the glass curtain wall facing the sea, a semi-outdoor curved corridor is set up to connect various functions. In the design, by choosing special one-way light through curved glass, the interior also has sufficient sunlight and an invincible sea view. After entering the corridor, visitors walk in the delicate and blurred boundaries between indoor and outdoor, transmission and reflection, light and shadow, and experience a unique space feeling that seems to be separated but also faces nature with the move of the sun, moon, and motion of stars.
The seaside environment determines that concrete is one of the few strong corrosion-resistant building materials that can be selected. Through repeated confirmation of the size with the local construction team and deliberation on the details of the formwork, the final presentation effect of the fair-faced concrete is unexpectedly good in the natural beach environment.
The wooden grille on the floor of the corridor can effectively filter the fine sand brought in from the beach and is connected with the more delicate gray terrazzo floor of the functional area.
The super-sized curved one-way laminated glass is produced by a professional glass manufacturer. In the production process, the process technology is strictly controlled and the wave deformation of the reflective film of the glass during hot bending is reduced. It is then transported to the site for hoisting by cranes. Through the control of the opening size of the curved concrete wall behind the glass, the building can also present an elegant and balanced proportion effect when the light is lit at night.
For safety reasons, a natural rubber material was finally chosen for the roof. Through the experiment of mixing the natural color particles of various colors of rubber, the proportion that is closer to the color of this beach was finalized, so that the whole building can be hidden in the environment perfectly.
In the first summer after the completion of the project, "Echo of the Sea" initially opened the sanitary shower function, which is convenient for tourists who come to the beach. The locals also affectionately nicknamed it "Little Conch".
The special form of the building gives the possibility of different uses. People can freely climb up the top of the "Echo of the Sea" building along the gentle slope. Admire the beauty of the sea from above. Kids are full of fun to find that the glass arc wall on the front not only amplifies the sound of the waves but also reflects the boundless sea and the fat or thin self.
We believe that this beach will become livelier with the opening of the internal cafes and retails of Echo of the Sea. The interesting response of the building itself to nature will also bring more unique and interesting sea experiences to tourists.
Sea is an inseparable part of this small town, and it is integrated into the blood and soul of every prosperous person. "Echo of the Sea" responds to people's love for the sea. It lies here and listens to the sound of the sea with you and me.