Architects: Vector Architects
Location: Kunshan, China
Partner In Charge: Chien-Ho Hsu, Gong Dong
Project Architect: Feng Xu
Project Advisor: Nan Wang
Project Team: Brian Lap Heng Fung, Xing Liang, Diego Caro Serrano, Edith Yeung, Zhimin Zhou
Area: 175 sqm
Photographs: Shengliang Su
Located in the riverside park along a busy street in the old town area of Kunshan, this project includes a refreshment station, public toilets, and a leisure pavilion. These program spaces are assembled as a compound that is an intermixing zone for diverse activities within a small area in the park.
The existing trees work as a natural filter between the buildings and the adjacent street. Buildings and trees are spread out on the site and intertwined on the artificial landscape of the sunken garden. The building volume is fragmentized and distributed under or around the trees based on the functions. The sunken garden becomes the new ground for the buildings. It limits the disturbance of the buildings to the low crowns of the existing trees, and decreases the tension between the building and its surrounding context. People are guided into the sunken garden through three pathways between buildings and trees, and various types of open spaces, which constitute distinctive spatial sequences. The pavilion compound forms a closely fitting with diverse environments around.
The exterior walls of the public toilets and the refreshment station are clad with dark grey terrazzo. Its color and texture camouflage the buildings as two rocks half-‐buried in the ground. Sitting on top of the refreshment station, the leisure pavilion has distinctive gestures on its two long sides, a permeable façade composed by vertical aluminum trellis facing the street and more transparent surface facing the river. The rhythm of the vertical louvers makes the building in harmony with the trees. This visual combination not only casts pleasant shadow into the interior space, but also constitutes a translucent interface between the leisure pavilion and the street. The steel structure maximizes the usages in the limited space and the light construction makes the building like a lantern sitting on top of the rock at night. When the sliding glass doors are all opened up, the leisure pavilion becomes a stage, which can accommodate various events in the park.