HC Architects – The balance between architecture and construction

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HCShanghai

In our professional practice we face the difference existing between architecture and construction. Everyday we have to balance the two aspects of our job: on one side we have to follow the requirements by the local market -as developers, future users, economical budget, time schedules, available materials, etc.- on the other hand we need to research new ideas since that we are all graduated as architects. This fluctuation is especially strong in this period in Shanghai and in the whole China. Both aspects are needed in China nowadays: new construction for people necessities and new architecture for Chinese new symbols and image. A lot is already done and a lot is still to do in both aspects: in here is our professional activity.
Our projects are mostly urban complexes for mixed use. Residential, office, commercial and hotel functions combined in one complex. Usually the base or podium are dedicated to commercial use – retails or small of- fices- and the high-rise or towers are used as residen- tial, offices and hotels. Villas also can be a choice for residential purpose (and for corporate offices too). Green areas must be considered as integral part of the whole. The projects can be both in downtown areas, in suburb areas and in developing -as touristic- areas.
We introduce four our recent projects: two of them under construction, one completed and one comple- ted in the villas area. In such large scale of produc- tion, details make the difference. If we -as architects- can control the whole design and building process since the beginning -also according the market re- quirements- the result will be much more accurate than the normal practice. Concept design, first wor- king drawings, details and material choice are our to- ols to shift from construction to architecture.

Dongfang Ming Cheng, Phase2 – Housing
Datong, Shanxi; PR of China 2012/Under Construction

The Project consists of housing complex plus commercial buildings in a city rectangular block. Residential function is housed in 5 high-rise towers. Commercial, both retail and officces function, is housed in 6 low-rise buildings and 2-storeys base perimetral building. The empty area at the centre of the plot will be green common area. The high-rise buildings have 26/33 floors for a maximum height of mt 99; commercial sizes mt 9 to mt 16 in height. Total size is Sqm 158,000 c. upper-ground. The total residential size is Sqm 130,000 c. gross. This project shows the theme of FUNDAMENTALS: column, cornice, moulding. The theme is re-interpretated according the local necessities and requirements. Granite coffee/color hanging stone.

ZhongRong Stary Bay Garden – Villas
Fuzhou, Fujian; PR of China 2010/2013

The whole Complex includes 26 villas and 3 high-rise buildings for residential use plus an hotel. Each villa is divided in two or three or four units depending on size for four or five storeys. The high-rise buildings have 37 / 38 and 44 floors for a maximum height of mt 140; each floor is divided is four units. Villas total size is Sqm 26,000 c. upper-ground. The total residential size is Sqm 93,000 c. including villas and towers. Villas area is completed, high-rise area is under construction. This project shows the theme of the CLADDING: materials on surface. The villas volumes are characterized by deep in/out and consequently light/shades effects: vertical surfaces, roofs, balconies, porticos. Each part has different material on surface: tiles both for walls and roofs, stone (different colors), aluminum, wood, glass, metal or paint depending on the material main features.

Jiande Community, Area A – Complex
Putian, Fujian; PR of China 2010/Under Construction

The whole Complex includes 4 downtown blocks for both residential and commercial use. Each block has a podium for commercial use plus high-rise building for residential. Podium generally are mt 20/24 height for five storeys. High-rise generally have 20 or 26 floors above the podium for total mt 90 or mt 100 height. The A Area is a rectangular shape on the north side of the whole complex : commercial Sqm 27,000 c. plus residential Sqm 48,000 c. The whole complex is about Sqm 490,000 c. in size including both comm. and residential. The whole complex is currently under construction, Area A is almost completed. This project shows the theme of the MASSIVE construction: essential volumes and few materials. The podium is mostly closed by a perimetral wall with few openings: the whole surface is covered with almost only one material, black polished surface stone cutted in the same dimension 600×1200 mm.

World City Plaza, Optic Valley Mall
Wuhan, Hubei ; PR of China 2011/2013

The Project concerns the podium volume elevations. The podium function is shopping mall. Above the podium two towers: one for office + one for service apartments & hotel. The facade project don’t affect the two towers. The facades project was required to show shining and “diamond” effect. This section -regarding the main street facade- shows the theme of the GLASS facade. Pattern glass, transparent glass and milky glass, frame-less, supported by hidden metal support + shining/mirror aluminum cladding. Two entrances at the two ends. The facade on the main street size mt 220 c. long and mt 24 max height.

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