At Tony’s Organic House, an intricate, complex network of woven strings make up a multi-hued façade that is magical by both day and night
Following a successful collaboration for a multifunctional building complex at Tony’s Farm (as featured in the March 2013 issue of Perspective), design firm Playze was approached by owner Tony Zhang with the idea of developing a building in the city centre of Shanghai for the promotion of an alternative, organic lifestyle.
The main purpose of the building would be to showcase the products of Tony’s Farm by introducing a more natural way of living to city dwellers, who often have an obscured understanding of the origins of their food products – this is certainly true of many inner-city children across the world, who are unaware that chickens produce eggs or how vegetable crops are grown.
Tony’s Organic House is located on the waterfront in Lujiazui, with the iconic Pudong skyline as its backdrop. It is a conversion project of an existing building that was initially constructed as a part of the Pudong landscape masterplan.
The existing building shell initially consisted of a conventional glass curtain wall without any measures to protect the building from heat gain through solar radiation. In addition to the need for a shading system, the ambition was to create a building envelope that reflected the novel aspirations of the client. These two aspects, then, were the primary drivers for the development of a completely bespoke façade system.
The idea was to contrast the harshness of the adjacent massive glass towers with a soft and tactile skin. The resulting shading system is made of two layers of differently coloured strings. The overlap of the two layers creates a moiré effect that reinforces the textile-like aesthetic of the skin. The façade is comprised of a series of panels, each consisting of 46 strings. The use of single strings instead of a continuous fabric allows the panels to twist in a controlled and specific way.