2017-02-10
Ideal Land—Rainbow Tunnel

 

建言建筑与郑州缘起13年前“普罗旺世”项目的成功。普罗旺世位于郑州北区,金水区海洋路(国基路)与索凌路交汇处,交通网络发达,项目占地1600亩,总投资30亿元。

 

2012年,建言再次接下中牟县大孟镇占地近6000亩的社区项目 -“普罗.理想国”。为了打造更好的居住环境与未来生活,建言将彩虹元素的概念加入了通往“理想国“的主要通道。

 

201531日,位于郑州市中牟县大孟镇郑开大道与S223省道交叉口北侧50米处,全长1431米的“彩虹隧道”,正式通车,成为中国第一例彩虹隧道。

 

 

 

 

隧道的建成,不仅为“理想国”社区打响了名号,更是引得国内外主流媒体竞相报道。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013-06-27
Typology of Court and Yard—The Style of Space
 

Typology of Court and Yard—The Style of Space

 

The use of a vessel is in the presence of what is absent…The use of a room is in the presence of what is absent.”
                                                                                             Chapter 11, Dao De Jing

 

Typology of Court and Yard is an act of retrospection to collectively analyze past projects by Verse Design (建言建筑) to find common threads in the design intentions of the work as well as its meaning in contemporary China.  In this regard, it is interesting to note that the design ambitions of the work were not based on the interest to seek translations of the traditional Chinese courtyard nor to replicate Western models.  But rather, the objective was to seek appropriate design address from the domain of form as consumer product to that of space as the basic condition of living. 

 

It is inherent that the ideals of real estate development, contrary to the modernist principle, “form follows function”; the more sobering reality of our contemporary society is that, form really follows money.  In this definition, architecture often falls beyond the realities of living (生活) to that of style and brand.  The necessity to brand becomes critically important in determining a style in the economic operatives that defines the parameters of design. 

 

In the statement, “she dresses in Prada, carries Gucci, and walks in LV”, the conditions of “she” is actually quite empty and naked.  Can anyone really state exactly what she is wearing?  The only “truth” in the statement is the suggestion of chic without any specificity and only acknowledged through well-known fashion brands.  Human’s ability to determine what is good or bad has been replaced by labels.  Without labels, humans are at a complete loss to find their identity.  This has become the mainstay of our consumerist society.  Thus the adage, “buy expensive rather than good (买贵的不买好的)”.  Consequently, I might add, “I might not look good but I will look expensive therefore good…” What has happened to us?  Has our urge to be labeled surpassed our basic aesthetic instincts?

 

Similarly in architecture, given our consumerists’ culture or should I say the lack of culture, we have Hermes apartment in Singapore, Versace homes in the Philippines, and many more others in China.  Architecture in this definition, while the reference to living can be defined as “life style” associated with fashion, do we really know the most basic spatial conditions of living these fashion brands afford?

 

The discipline of brand demands a rigor in a very narrowly and arbitrarily defined self-expression as style (风格).  Translating this into the building industry, emphasis is placed on the decorative and tactile qualities of the physical building as architecture rather than space.  The resulting hermetic and self-indulging quality of architecture is more at home in museums as exhibition than as spaces for human occupation.

 

In fact, the perfection of the images associated with brands translated to mean “life style” is only fiction.  Human living habits are far more complex and messy.  They are neither perfect nor fashionable.  Living, in fact, is mostly defined by functional practicality and comfort.  As a primary example, just go home and look at your living room.  Yet when confronted by the questions in determining the most basic spatial needs in our places to live and work, we are at a complete loss unless someone tells us what is good through the artificial instrument of style and branding.

 

Inherent in stylistic branding of architecture is its tendency toward a state of homogeneity in the absence of culture.  However, the condition of “absence” may not fully be at the loss of regional identity through branding.  It may very well be in the absence of physical regional identity that allows artificial superimposition of style to brand itself as culture. 

 

Given all of the above, it is precisely in the design priority of space that each of the court, “院子”, attempts to find culture and redefine the inevitable necessity of branding.  In this regard, the definition of culture is not in the arbitrary assignment of style in the physical but in the non-physical translation of space as culture of living.  

 

The definition of court, in architecture necessarily implies ideas of solid and void with emphasis on the void.  True to this emphasis, it is the narratives of space that each of the projects presented in the exhibition manifest their meaning.  In this regard, spatial relationships and movement between spaces becomes the focus of design.  To understand each court, priority is given to the experiences of space in lieu of style.  It is in the experience that each ensemble of spaces, from indoor to outdoor, through the contemplation of space that culture and regional identity are expressed in design as true value, this in essence is the power of place-making.

 

Paul Tang 唐瑞麟

January 2013

 

 

2013-01-21
Verse Design 10 Year Retrospective Exhibition
2012-12-13
Bengbu High Speed Rail Station

12/2012 Architectural Record

蚌埠高铁南站

10/2013 WAF—World Architecture Festival,世界交通建筑奖

国际入围候选,蚌埠高铁南站

2012-09-10
Infra-tecture—Towards an Urban Architecture

 

Infra-tecture – Towards an Urban Architecture

 

in·fra·struc·ture, noun: the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.

 

It is astonishing that while architecture abandons the principles that made civilizations reach the highest building achievements, at the same time scientific knowledge that results from a drastically improved understanding of Nature rediscovers the quality of those principles.  In the pretention of parametricism, it has become a trend for architects to use the latest technological advances in order to produce caricatures of science.  The affordability of science towards an architecture of high fidelity that contributes to the narrative and performance of the city are often forgotten and replaced by the pretentiousness of Architecture as high art in the city.

 

An examination of the parallels between the "new sciences" and the discipline of architectural and urban design; application of fractals, complexity theory, neural networks, emergent processes and self-organization among others often yield stand alone monuments that are devoid of any consideration of the context or city that justifies their existence. The insatiable appetite for the image and form often results in the absence or negligence of true intelligence embodied by these sciences.

 

Based on the above criticism, the presentation will examine the difficulties, challenges, and successes of two case studies in their attempt to insist on the role of urban intelligence as instrument of design and ideation toward a more livable and sustainable city.

 

Paul Tang

Verse Design

 

 

Paul TANG

2011-09-29
Chengdu Biennale.Ring vs.Edge Urbanism

点城田园  Garden City—Ring vs. Edge Urbanism (对于的城市主义)

 

With the task to explore alternate interpretations of Garden City (田园城市)within the theme of "物我之境", the objective of this research is to examine the dualistic relationships and interchangeable role between city and landscape with the intent to redefine elements of landscape as instrument of urban growth while preventing urban sprawl.  To be more specific, the research examined “198” as Chengdu’s interpretation of the ideals of Garden City as put forth by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1898.  The bilateral contributions toward ideals of “green” and redefinition of ”urban” in a metropolis context are the goal of this endeavor.  In this regard, the physical objectivity of cultural production in the making of city and landscape, as “and subjectivity in the spatial ideals embodied in the cultural artifacts of city and landscape as “ was the primary focus of the investigation.

 

Expanding City

From 1949 to 2007 the city of Chengdu expanded 22.6 times.  It grew from 18 square kilometers to over 400 square kilometers.  This means in less than 60 years Chengdu lost 390 square kilometers of rural land to urban development.  The amount of rural land loss is equal to 238th largest city in the world by area, it is over 60% of the entire city state of Singapore, approximately the size of city of Dalian, larger than city of Taipei, Las Vegas, Portland, or Philadelphia. 

 

Today, Chengdu’s metropolitan urban core is over 1600 square kilometers with signs of continued expansion in a centrifugal concentric pattern.  The demand for expansion is caused by its sharp population growth.  Chengdu’s population increased 52.8% from 1990 to 2010.  The 4.9 million people increase is equivalent to the entire population of the country of Norway migrating to Chengdu in 20 years.  Albeit this population increase may be attributed to changes in population administrative definition, the number is, nevertheless, astonishing.

 

What is even more alarming is when comparing population growth with urban area growth.  Chengdu’s urban area growth outpaces its population growth by over 300%.  This means that the city is expanding 3 times faster than its population.  With a projected growth to 30 million people in the next 50 years, the consequence of this population growth, its negative impact to the environment and Chengdu’s definition of its urban center cannot be lightly underestimated.

 

Garden City

Recent examples of garden cities, especially in the suburban “green” developments of western United States, have created sprawling cities with continuous urban conditions that are not sustainable.  This is really the question behind the question being examined through Garden City/"城市".  

 

While it is easy to propose the physical implementation of green spaces to alleviate the urban stresses associated with mega cities, the larger definitions of green urbanism beyond notions of parks and gardens toward the preservation of “green resource” (绿资源) as a form of environmental sustainability have not been fully addressed in the current architectural and urban discourse.  In this regard, Chinese translation of Garden City—田园/Garden, 城市/City—the interpretation of “田园城市”, especially in the case of Chengdu, will probably be more about “”/farm than “”/garden.  This research examined the opportunities of “green” as anti-sprawl containment instrument, it is not just about green urbanism—城市效绿” but also urban efficiency—城市效率 to preserve Chengdu’s natural “green” resources.  Its key finding results in the following critical question:

 

Given Chengdu’s amazing growth, shouldn’t the ideas of Garden City not just focus on the urban green conditions but also focus on the green agrarian resources beyond the city limit to prevent urban sprawl? 

 

It should really be about the balance of land resources to create a sustainable ecology between man and nature.  This is really the contemporary reinterpretation of Garden City.  It is not about the city but rural conservation of natural green resources confronted by the increasing phenomenon of megalopolis.

2011-04-29
Arup-Creative Nature