Persistence of the real estate developer
The showroom assuming the role of building selling represents the only persistence on architecture held by real estate developers having pursuits in an increasingly competitive market. The past few decades have witnessed a booming and highly competitive real estate market, which made Chinese people's residences increasingly homogeneous from plan to façade. However, the showroom, which represents the image of the company and can also enhances the customer experience, is gaining more and more attention. As for the function, the showroom assumes the only role of selling buildings at the beginning, but nowadays, it has multiple functions, that is, to showcase the lifestyle while selling buildings in the early stage, and to transform into a community center or commercial center available for residents later.
For quite a long time, showrooms serving as sales exhibition center were gradually similar in design. With social media booming and becoming an important visual communication tool, real estate developers realized that showrooms can be an important visual medium to drive the impact and sales of their properties. This requires an innovative and unique design for the showroom.
Information about the original site of the new town has been wiped off due to the Seven Accesses and One Leveling project. And in fact, after stripping away architecturally limited variants, the sophisticated and fluid overall designs of the demonstration area, are slightly similar in new towns in China. This is Generic City.
I suddenly had a radical idea. I want to make a black BDO reflecting the surroundings: Big Dumb Object. It symbolizes the great power of the unknown, and the mysterious. What it presents is a simple, pure and distinct image, rather than maximalism or human-made tricks. It is a huge, silent and cool object that attracts the attention of all directions of the site, being a hot topic over the network. Without words, people know it just at a glance, that it is the starting point to visit the new town and the ambition to say No to Generic City.
BDO is an identity
The reason I chosed BDO is to inspire the spirit of adventure of my clients. Most new towns are just add-ons developed as a result of the spill over of functions from the central city. I observed that Vanke's ambition for this project was to create a new town with the functions of a central city. But it is beyond the description of any visionary word, and only a concept of impact can represent courage, which is we ordinary people lack. BDO is about courage.
Rejected on the grounds of localization
The project design was sent to the authorities and was rejected on the grounds that it lacked local cultural characteristics. I am reluctant to put a veneer of so-called traditional architecture or a patchy veneer rewriting a traditional architecture in an awkward way on a functional volume under the demands of modern society, or combine common materials of traditional architecture, such as rammed earth bricks and wood on a current building in the name of locality. Nor do I want to thumb through all local literature to add images of specific local characteristics such as the objects, plants and animals to the architecture directly or repeatedly rewrite it into an architecture featuring local characteristics in an awkward way.
I made a bold decision and come back out with a new proposal. I went back to the most familiar terminology, symbolism. I didn't abandon BDO, but once again I used mountain, which I was most familiar with, to give an appearance change to BDO's look which is easy to express and be accepted.
Leveraging the mountain，BDO but whisper
I chose the mountain because "any emotional properties which they possess are vested in them by human imaginations." More importantly, as the most important symbol in traditional Chinese culture, it can also be easily abstracted into various forms of contemporary architectural forms. In addition, since the project is located in Zhongshan, it is a logical reason to take the mountain as a symbol of the local culture.
The black silence of the original BDO without interpretable information is uncomfortable. I used the floating translucent white color, which was familiar to me, in rewriting BDO to give it whisper making people relaxed.