Triaxial Field

Triaxial Field lies on the edge of a wetlands area in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. While it is part of a larger development of hotels and villas, it is oriented around the views of the natural wetlands and the water channel. Rather than designing an acirc;128;156;objectacirc;128;157; building, this project is a field that merges landscape and architecture. The building is flanked on three sides by water ponds which emphasize the buildingacirc;128;153;s connection with the natural. The roof is accessible by the public through the careful placement of a staircase, guard rails, and laminated glass skylights. The doors along the west elevation can be opened for indoor/outdoor activitiesacirc;128;148;further blurring the distinction between inside and outside.The program is a unique event space which provides a chapel-like atmosphere for weddings, musical performances, and theater. Additionally, the building will be the site of large banquets, special events, and conferences.

The key structural component is a triaxially-reinforced, post-tension concrete plane. Its gentle folds create the space below. Slices into the plane reveal the main entrance and the openings into the landscape. The main event space is lit from above by the voids in the structure, making the structure as integral to the light in a manner that is similar to Gothic churches and other sacred spaces. Due to the post-tensioning of the white concrete structure, the roof slab is naturally water tight.The project incorporates many sustainable design strategies. Geothermal wells provide heating and cooling for the space via radiant floor slabs. A few skylights open automatically at the uppermost area of the space to induce natural ventilation and supplemental cooling. The glass skylights also include integral solar PVC film for energy generation. The white concrete of the building is an innovative new material that can scrub CO2 from the atmosphere.

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