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Xixian Gates

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Xi'an Eco-park is part of a district located in the newly-developed region of Xixian City. The project includes two main gates to the park and a restaurant, acting as a focal and referential point within the landscape. To achieve this symbiotic relationship, our main concern was to develop a language compatible with the landscape, such that the architectural event takes place as a consolidation or intensification of a (various) moment(s) within the park.

The design, hence, is triggered by the desire of building, a dialogue between the landscape and its architecture, and an exchange that can build local specificity generating a sense of strong identity. Such identity, however, instead of relying on iconoclastic imaginary, finds its articulation in its placing within the site, stretching its boundaries onto the ground and producing a woven linkage with the landscape through elongated transitions –both spatial and functionally, it (re)defines its context and creates a new environment.

More specifically speaking, the design of the gates was generated through the tension of the curves, that whilst flowing along, twisting and twirling, project a series of surfaces: a three-dimensional ribbon. The final morphology is produced through the movement along space of those splines.

As the extension of the ground, the gates stem from it, flowing uninterruptedly and creating subtle shifts along their trajectory. With the lawn (landscape) gradually turning into steel (architecture), the figure-ground relationship is altered and blurred to produce a moment whose body does not possess a footprint, but rather proposes a trace of an action taking place within the ground, cutting it and lifting it.

The material implementation of the gates follows the simple moves of the surfaces (described by the splines) to which we assigned two contrasting finishes –yet of the same material (oxidized steel and shiny steel), to intensify the difference of faces’ effects whilst keeping an integral image and the overall consistency. The transition from one surface to another occurs along space–through the torsion of the splines and faces–and its perception depends on the viewpoint of the gaze, acquiring a kinetic feel as if transforming between states of the same matter.

The east gate’s complexity derives from a simple operation of branching the fourth curve and introducing a fifth surface that carries the information of the ground–its materiality–extending onto the landscape and turning into a shaded sitting area.

The north gate, being the secondary access to the park–and mostly vehicular–requires a much simpler language, whereby its morphology is the direct outcome of only 4 splines subtly varying width among themselves.

In both instances, despite local differences driven by different requirements, the gates’ morphology and their materialization remain consistent, as per the resemblance of two sisters.

TYPE_

exhibition, public

status_

under construction, comission

lOCATION_

Xi'an, China

year_

2014

client_

Xi‘an Xixian New Town

budget_

Undisclosed

size_

6,500 sqm

.

.

partner in charge_

Eva Castro, Chuan Wang, Holger Kehne

team_

Libny Pacheco, Pietro Scarpa, 景晟, 邹宇俊, 荆博, 瞿平山, 游雅 and Cesare Zilio

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