Previously, we have covered the Ordos 100 project quite extensively, giving you an inside look at the Inner Mongolia development. Back when Cai Jiang proposed the initiative to build one hundred 1000sqm villas designed by 100 up-and-coming architects in a mere 100 days, most questioned if the project was a hoax while others felt the development’s free-for-all attitude would not yield a unifying strong result. Yet, even with these concerns, the 100 firms responded to Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei’s invitation to design the villas and transform a barren land. However, this development took quite an unexpected twist. Read more about the project after the break.
The development seemed like a great idea and full of possibilities. Ordos was basically viewed as a blank canvas, patiently awaiting its new identity. And with this unique strategy, the land would benefit from not one or two talented architects, but rather from 100 fresh takes and new perspectives. Yet, it soon became evident that having 100 unrelated villas created an area that lacked cohesiveness, any contextual relationships and of course, an overall defining identity. Upon seeing these shortfalls, the local planning authority is currently seeking to explore new ways of procuring innovative and high quality architecture through the establishment of codes and rules. To be fair, many architects of the original planning initiative were concerned about the lack of restrictions/guidelines. If the architects’ concerns had been addressed earlier in the project, there is no doubt that their development ideas would have fused together more elegantly.
So, Plasma Studio will participate with some of the leading Chinese and China-based international offices in the next phase of development. Each of these new architectural teams will have to locate five cube-shaped volumes on two different sites on the edge of the city.
Plasma’s vision stresses the role of the ground by articulating ripples and tessellations from which the inner building cores appear to sprout. By emphasizing the ground, the buildings will benefit from using the subterranean temperature to warm or cool the indoor air. The tubes can be integrated economically into the required large underground parking and then taken up to the various office levels through a net of vertical ducts at the vertices of the inner lightwells.
We are disappointed to see the failure of the Ordos 100, but we are excited to see the new ideas and we will be sure to keep you updated.
Check out other buildings by Plasma on AD here.