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Description:

[wi:] studio is a rammed-earth research and training pavilion for A00 and E=MC² . Located in a residual space between two of E=MC²'s workshops in Baoshan, the studio also serves as an office and conference room for the compound.

The design of the studio evolved from the need to test different wall forming techniques, earth mixes and ways to run power and water through the walls. In order to express their distinctness, the 6 resulting walls were linked with glass and steel. The central 'rock' (service core) was also designed to be freestanding in order not to compromise the visual strength of the walls.

Beyond the walls, the studio also served to research a small double cantilever, techniques for cast in place concrete, radiant walls and the human scale.

A00 often uses large contrasts in scale in order to suggest the different orders of magnitude at which the environment operates. However, the resulting spaces must be human as they must still serve the user. With this in mind (and the Modular Man being the logo and favorite architectural figure of E=MC²) A00 turned the studio into a study of the Le Corbusier's famous red and blue series.

Finally, the studio also served to research the idea of a water cooled roof.

One of the key characteristics of earth is its ability to store thermal energy. Another basic material with this ability is water. However, there is a beautiful tension between these 2 materials seeing as one is liquid and transparent, while the other is solid and opaque. The design took advantage of these properties by using glass and steel to create a water cooled roof. The butterfly shape of the roof collects the water at the core, where it is recirculated back to the roof.

The result is spectacular. Experientially, the pavilion was designed to feel like a canyon carved by water. The water can be heard, running like a river through the project. However, the water in this case is not at the bottom of the canyon but at the top - as though it was just starting to carve the earth. This places the water between the user and the sky, resulting in a liquid space created by the shadow of the moving water. In this way, A00 seeks to use Architecture to connect us with the strength and beauty of our natural environment as well as it's most basic elements.
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