Text description provided by the architects. Completed in 2005, the multi-function hall of Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University is a supporting space for performances and exhibitions of the academy’s teaching building. With premise of keeping its original fire protection as well as mechanical and electrical equipment as the renovation principle, the hall will satisfy its professional exhibition function and serve as temporary meetings room and classroom. Compared with simple decoration and renovation of the top of the wall, we will pay more attention to a series of overlapping and semi-transparent skins into the original structure under a reasonable structural system to solve the function and form of space. Colin Rowe once explained in his book Transparency about the double definition of Giogi Kappes: “Transparency is not limited to vision, but has a broader spatial order. It means that people can see representations of different spatial locations at the same time”. Here, the “transparency of overlapping” generated by materials and space will be interpreted as perception of spatial order and stratification.
The corridor of the east main entrance is set up as a long narrow “preface hall”. When holding large-scale exhibitions or conference activities, the hall can effectively play the role of people evacuation and being a communication space. As the original skylight is too transparent, the strong light projected into the interior is not conducive to daytime exhibitions and activities. Therefore, we put a series of fine metal grilles under the skylight to form a light translucent skin. The outdoor light is filtered through the grille and softened. The fine projection texture changes with the continuous walking movement of people’s observation points, thus providing a blurry spatial experience for people.
The net elevation of the original hall space is 6.5 meters, which can hold various large-scale activities. But as a frequently-used teaching exhibition hall, much flexible plane combination with mobile partition must be provided for different types of exhibitions. By systematically stratifying the ceiling, we separate it into moving partition system, lighting system and grating ceiling system, which are interspersed and combined with each other, forming a new form of interior space. The spacing of the grille ceiling solves the problem of ventilation and flood lighting. The broken lines at different heights take into account the partition system’s rail structure installation and indoor height maintenance, and making the original single spatial form to be more layered and sequential.
Composed of grids with different densities, these skins are an important expression of construction’s transparency. Though produced by demand, it is separated from the logic and order of the original building itself, forming a new form independently. In different light modes, transparency is not only a visual experience, but it will guide exploration and understanding of the individual space, and grant the space with a new visual attribute.