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Continuation Studio：At the beginning of 2018, Continuation Studio was invited to design a 200-square-meter hotel reception center in a seaside village in Dinghai, Zhoushan. The owner required the center to accommodate basic arrival check-in, as well as breakfast and afternoon tea events for about 20 to 30 guests, and the condition to be used as a temporary showroom.
▽山林中的建筑 Architecture in the mountains and forests
The project site is a plateau at the highest point of the mountain village, leveled out from the high northeast and low southwest slopes. The plan is a sub-square shape that is slightly long in the north-south direction, with an area of about 400 square meters. The foundation of the ruins is arranged in a straight line, occupying nearly half of the site on the north side, leaving the vacant land on the south. The west side is adjacent to the continuously descending village road in the long direction and forms a height difference of about 2-4 meters from north to south, and is connected to the road by a ramp projecting northward from the southwest corner. The site is separated by a footpath into the village. The tall tree canopy below the shoulder of the road and the two-story houses along the trail together nearly obscure the seascape on the west side, revealing only the canopy light of some trees further down the hillside between the tree trunks in the southwest corner. In other directions, the rolling hills and miscellaneous trees form a tall, tight natural barrier that encloses the site and gathers it overhead, framing a square of the sky.
▽场地原状 Original site condition
▽场地下方的村路（右侧红砖堆上方台地为场地） Village road below the site (the terrace above the red brick pile on the right is the site)
The whole site not only shows a “directionality” towards the road to the west (and the invisible sea in the distance), but also its elevation relative to the road and sinking relative to the mountain forest, presenting a special “stratigraphic sense” of a horizontal slice of the mountain.
Variable function means a universal and conventional plan form. Confrontingh the flat base with only vague feeling and the almost featureless mountain environment, how to make the building fit the temperament of the site while satisfying the function, and at the same time obtain a rich spatial experience beyond the daily, and also maintain and enhance the architectural quality we insist on, becomes the question we need to answer.
化整为零 Break up the whole into parts
According to the lessons learned from previous practice in village, when a new building enters the village, it is necessary to avoid presenting a strong volume and scale compared to the village house, as a way of improving the harmony with the indigenous people during the construction process and later operation. In addition, our site is located on the road into the village with a high position, so we need to respond to the issues of volume and scale.
First, we use the height difference between the site and the road to sink the auxiliary functions such as bathrooms and kitchens that need to be separated in the form of rooms in the interior, so that the remaining functions of reception, catering and exhibition are basically common, allowing for a freer spatial layout and shape organization in the upper part. In this way, the freedom of upper space operation is obtained, and the volume and area exposed to the “ground” are reduced.
▽从停车场方向看建筑（近处体量下方为厨房等辅助功能）View of the building from the direction of the parking lot (the kitchen and other auxiliary functions are below the near volume)
After that, we further break the up space into three small rectangular volumes of daily room scale, and then diagonally bite one by one into a string of whole.
▽首尾咬合的三个旋转体量 Three rotating volumes of end and head occlusion
Each of the three volumes has a smaller plan outline than the conventional farm houses in the village, and the facade is wrapped by vertical corrugated metal panels similar to the factory buildings in the nearby light industrial district. The narrow wavelengths allow them to escape from the usual memory of industrial buildings and produce a multi-layered sense of abstraction and subtlety. The three volumes protrude in north-south direction and recede in the middle, enclosing the “empty courtyard” facing the sea to the west and clarifying the main orientation of the building volumes. The southern volume is further set back than the northern one, giving way to a row of miscellaneous trees and establishing an entrance space together with the original ramp. The overlapping makes the building’s boundary curvy and rich, and the originally straight external natural landscape of the mountains and forests can be viewed from the interior with various sight distances.
▽入口体量的正立面 Front facade of the entrance volume
▽逐层抬升的三个体量 Three volumes raised layer by layer
Vertically, the three volumes are elevated level by level, each on a terrace of different elevations. The horizontal pattern of the concrete thin timber formwork on the sides of the interior terraces continues and reinforces the feeling of a mountainous terrain. Below the highest terrace are the kitchen and bathroom concealed in the plinth. The terraces are connected to each other by steps at the occlusal part of the plan, while the exterior masonry terraces have steps directly from their edges to form a continuous “mountain path”. The three elevations of the terraces correspond to each other indoors and outdoors, so that the “stratigraphic sense” of the site continues inside and outside. The three terraces are raised continuously from south to north, like “complementary hills”, reducing the huge difference in height between the original site and the steep hill on the north side, and as a base, creating conditions for the volume above to gain more light and a more open view.
▽鸟瞰山林中的建筑 Bird view of the buildings in the mountains
反向双坡屋面 Butterfly roof
The mere occlusion of three ordinary volumes in plan and section was not enough to support our expectations of the richness of the interior experience. We also wanted to find a holistic strategy that could integrate the external and internal spatial experience at the structural level. In the end, we found a special idea of “butterfly roof” which is composed by reverse long and short double slope roof.
Undoubtedly, the butterfly roof can give the building a sense of strangeness and recognition from its outline, allowing the image of the building to spread easily, but what is more surprising is its visual expression in the interior and the integrated role it plays in the continuous feeling of the inner and outer space.
▽反向双坡屋面的建筑廓形 Butterfly roof building profile
The butterfly roof spreads along the long side of the volume, with the ridge beam diving down and running longitudinally over the rooms. The continuous diagonal glued laminated wooden rafters on both sides of the beams and the plank sheathing together form the most attractive visual object in the light white space. At the same time, the sense of inward convergence created by the traditional double-slope roof or single-slope roof enveloping the space below is reversed into a sense of outward expansion that naturally squeezes the front and back facades and the exterior. When the three volumes bite together in a long direction, the continuously turning roofs seem to rotate. The penetration of the inner courtyard landscape into the building and the centrifugal force of the interior into the outer mountains would appear at the same time. As a result, a strong sense of indoor-outdoor intermingling is established.
▽从室内穿进立面外墙的空间梁 Spatial beam penetrating from the interior into the exterior wall of the facade
We further correlate the vertical beams that dip in the space with the plan contours of the adjacent volumes in alignment. Eventually, the lower interior longitudinal beam in each of the two adjacent volumes extends all the way to the facade wall of the higher volume; while the other vertical beam, combined with the previous longitudinal beam, encloses the facade to form the ceiling surface of the air conditioning equipment. At the same time, this beam also extends into the other facade wall of the higher volume. The interior and exterior are more tightly woven together through the formal integration of the linear longitudinal beam in the interior space with the faceted facade wall.
▽从室内穿进立面外墙的空间梁 Spatial beam penetrating from the interior into the exterior wall of the facade
▽从第二体量斜看第三体量 Looking at the third volume obliquely from the second volume
Because of the versatility of spatial functions, the fenestration can be at will, and it seems to be able to shape extremely complex and rich internal and external interfaces at will. What is difficult is the intention of each element behind the richness and the readability of the relationship between them. At the same time, we also believe that the more simple elements produce richness, the more enjoyable the experience can be.
Therefore, we first set the approximate locations of the window and door openings on the facade based on the relationship between the interior space and the exterior topography and landscape. After that, planar modulus and inductive height difference were applied. The size, location, and proportion of the openings were precise one by one. First, vertically, the ground height difference between the three volumes was set at 0.9m, which is the height of both fixed furniture such as bar islands and the regular height of window sills and railings. The height of both the downward probing vertical beam and the equipment ceiling in the space is set at 3m, so that at the intersection of adjacent high and low volumes, the height of the vertical beam above the ground gradually changes from 3m to 2.1m as the steps rise, thus triggering a distinct feeling of physical interaction. Therefore, based on the three dimensions of 0.9m, 2.1m and 3m, we have formulated five rules for the vertical opening of the facade: the floor-to-ceiling door and window with a height of 2.1m or 3m, the window sill with a height of 0.9m, the window top with a height of 3m, the high window from the window sill with a height of 2.1m to the top, and the high window from the window sill with a height of 3m to the top. With the change of the height difference of the terrace, an unusually rich correspondence of elevation will be produced between various floors, railings, window sills, cavity tops, beam bottoms, and suspended ceilings. Secondly, from the plan, we set a modal grid of 1.5m to control the boundary between all the external openings and the internal floor, which makes the experiencer often aware of the alignment relationship between a series of boundaries far apart during the internal movement.
▽展开内立面（虚线表示竖向标高上的对位关系 ） Unfolded interior facade (the dotted line indicates the alignment relationship on the vertical level
▽从第一个体量正交看向第二、三体量 Looking at the third volume obliquely from the second volume
▽从第三个体量正交回望第二、一体量 Looking back at the second and first volume orthogonally from the third volume
The control of vertical elevation and the modulo alignment of the plan allows the seemingly irregularly scattered openings and other architectural elements in the three-dimensional space to be united in a hidden web of order, so that the experiencer is constantly aware of some distant but subtle echoes inside. This allows them to gradually discover new visual layers implied in the simple volume, and increases the experiencer’s pleasure in reading the space.
▽木椽之间的电动通风开启扇 Electric ventilation opening fan between wooden rafters
At the same time, for these openings, we have stripped the conventional ventilation function (ventilation by electric opening fans between the upper rafters), and then weakened their expression by refining the fixed glass structur, so that the materiality of the glass as an air interface almost disappears. Thus, the interior and exterior seem to be completely connected. Although the walls are still thick, the remaining walls appear almost as abstract white “panels” due to the common limitation of the edges of the windows and the volume of the ceiling. The de-constructed “lap” relationship between walls, walls and roofs, and floors further weaken the existence of the opening itself (the opening becomes a residual after the lap of the wall panels). The contrast between the inside and outside is so great that the whole house appears unusually light and transparent on the inside, and the true depth of space becomes
▽外部明确的体积感 A clear sense of volume on the outside
▽内部轻透的空间 Light and transparent space inside
▽极度抽象的固定玻璃窗框 Extremely abstract fixed glass window frames
▽板片化搭接的抽象墙体与洞口 Slabbed lap abstract walls and openings
▽典型墙身构造 Typical wall construction
▽模糊的室内外界面 Blurred interior and exterior interfaces
结构的显隐 Structure, explicit / invisible
The main body of the building is in the form of a steel frame structure, and the simple volume of a single span and story allows almost all the beams and columns to be covered by multiple layers of material inside and outside the façade, allowing them to be hidden within the walls. However, in the upper part of each space, there are two steel beams that span the room horizontally from the long direction and the short direction respectively, the short direction being the main beam and the long direction being the secondary beam. They are of similar width with a significant difference in height. In the design, we chose to connect the bottom of the long and short beams flush, so that the bottom of the ceiling is also at the same height level with them. Then we strip the seams and paint them uniformly white. the secondary beam as a whole is exposed in the space, while the sides of the main beam are covered with white wall panels and integrated with the side walls of the down-hanging piece of wall and equipment space. This allows the structural role of the primary and secondary beams to be reversed in visual effect: the primary beams disappear into the wall panels and ceiling, revealing only the width of the bottom surface, while the longitudinal secondary beams become the dominant structure in the space, which further elongates and enlarges the sense of scale of the room. This type of operation is not simply a force or structural consideration, but a further abstraction and refinement of the material and formal aspects of the structure, and a reweaving into a new system of meaning that unifies and influences the overall effect of the space.
▽主次梁的显隐 Explicit and Invisible structure of primary and secondary beams
▽从底部仰视主次梁的交叉 Crossing joint of primary and secondary beams viewed from the bottom up
▽次梁成为空间中的主导结构 Secondary beams become the dominant structure in the space
▽不锈钢柱与海的方向 Stainless steel column with the direction of the sea
▽不锈钢摇摆柱 Stainless steel swing column
Below the longitudinal beam of the intermediate volume of air, we set an ultra-thin solid stainless steel column, which not only acts as a swing column to help hold up the longest beam in the whole interior space, but also even serves to pull the roof down during typhoon. In addition to its concrete structural role, it also connects the flying beam overhead to the flesh of the experiencer, transforming the abstract visual experience into the tactile sensation of holding the column in the hand. More essentially is the relationship to the only square fixed window on the facade – when an experiencer faces the window, standing against the pillar, he faces the direction of the sea beyond the tree canopy.
▽自然与人工的台地及上方的体量 Natural and artificial platform and volume above
▽立面材料的并置 Juxtaposition of facade materials
▽1#掀顶爆炸图 1# Hatchback explosion diagram
▽1# 剖面图 1# profile
▽1#立面图 1# Elevation
Project name: Reception on Three Terraces
Year completed: 2020
Project area: 208 square meters
Project location: Dinghai, Zhoushan, Zhejiang
Design company: Construction Studio
Company website: continuation-studio.com
Contact email: email@example.com
Chief designer: Fan Jiujiang, Zhai Wenting
Design team: Fan Jiujiang, Zhai Wenting, Yang Xiaowei, Yu Hongyi, Huang He, Zhang Yingying, Wang Shengtao
Client: Zhoushan Secret Scenery View Sea Tourism Development Company
Structure Design: Zhou Jinjiang Team
Equipment Major: Hua Yonggang (Water), Li Chunjiao (electricity), Wang Chaowei (HVAC)
Photographer: The summer solstice、Sun Haiting
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