Lacime Architects has completed a public building in Chongqing’s Vanke Emerald Park that fuses contemporary design with traditional Chinese architecture
The centrepiece of Vanke Emerald Park public complex in Chongqing is a rectangular building that houses a two-storey exhibition space. The building, by acclaimed Chinese practice Lacime Architects, is a bold statement, courtesy of the metal 'net' across its exterior, bringing visual excitement and a sense of symmetry. Daylight floods into the premises, thanks to the tall 8.6-metre glass structure that envelopes the building, while an artificial pond softens the surroundings and reflects the exterior. The complex is an embodiment of modern materials, ideas and techniques, blended seamlessly with traditional Chinese architectural design – entrance hall, buildings to the side and multiple courtyards.The project, led by Ren Zhiguo and a team that includes Yang Yong and Zhang Lu, was commissioned by Chongqing Vanke, a division of one of the nation's largest developers, China Vanke. Construction on the 1-hectare site near Chongqing Central Park began in 2018. Modern construction materials have been used throughout, particularly metal and glass. Bespoke metal elements were manufactured for parts of the building, especially its columns, eaves and veranda with a sloped metal roof that projects low towards the courtyard, which has pools and trees that look as if they've been transplanted from a traditional ink-wash painting. The scheme, by Beijing Chuangyi Shance Landscape Design, has the effect of uniting the structure with its environment.Suspended ceilings comprise several large 2sqm-aluminium plates, while 30mm-stainless-steel bars are fixed between the plates to create extra textural detailing. For the main facade, about 4,500 'Y'-shaped pieces form the metal net. Each Y-shaped element is bespoke and prefabricated off-site. Lights shine through the mesh, making the structure particularly atmospheric at night. Arches are another reoccurring theme, notably those made from steel but clad in a herringbone pattern.
Daylight floods into the premises, thanks to the tall 8.6-metre glass structure that envelopes the building, while an artificial pond softens the surroundings and reflects the exterior
The interiors are no less dramatic. One building contains a large bamboo installation – tall, dramatic arched structures that are reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings of a Gothic cathedral in Europe. Tall glass curtain walls allow the installation to be viewed from the outside.