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Design Moulded by Contours at The Heavenly Water Service Center

Heavenly Water Service Center

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao, Shandong, by HHD_FUN, in Qingdao, Shandong, China. A Relationship Between Terrain and Design Terrain — as one of the most important factors — is normally taken into account in both architecture and landscape architectural design. A good design is always based on the original terrain and emphasizes the unique features of that terrain as well. In other words, a good design fits the existing ground naturally, as it grows naturally out of the terrain. Contour lines are the key to helping a designer understand the original terrain. By using contour lines, we can easily understand a trend of terrain and define a plan, which takes advantage of the terrain for drainage and creates harmony between architect and land.

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: DuoCai-Photograph

Heavenly Water Service Center

Qingdao, a quickly developing city with a population of 9 million, is located in the biggest peninsula, Shandong Peninsula in China. Qingdao has the seventh biggest harbor in the world. The International Horticultural Exposition 2014 was held in the northeast section of Qingdao. The Exposition was planned leaning to the southern side of Mount Lao and toward the sea in the south. It is thought that the location has a perfect landscape view and a good microclimate for growing plants. The Heavenly Water Service Center sits in the central part of the international Horticultural Exposition, offering a venue for gathering and dispersing tourists. The design was based on a piece of land that extends into an extant reservoir. Before the project, the land was covered by vegetation and several buildings.

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Masterplan of the Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: HHD_FUN

How the Building Design Bending to the Natural Lines In the project, the building was defined by following the contour lines. The building includes two floors, following a natural gradient of the original ground. The top of the ground floor has the same level as the path from both the east and north sides of the reservoir. Part of the roof is built as two huge front terraces for the second floor, the shape of which coincides with the tendency of the contour line. The top of the building looks like the peak of the original ground.
Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: DuoCai Photograph

Rooftop as a Viewpoint The rooftop, following the trend of contour lines, is divided into four similar units, which are covered by the lawn in the center and stairs with a gentle gradient surrounding. The edges of the rooftop are marked by glass guardrails to prevent visitors from falling. The rooftop offers tourists an extensive view of the whole Expo area and nice landscape toward the sea. The interesting thing is that in those units, the step edges also follow the trend of natural gradient, but the height from the edges of the rooftop to the lawn goes gradually down. Related Articles:

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Top: Photographer: Zhenfei Wang. Below: DuoCai Photograph

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: Zhenfei Wang

Making the Site Accessible  Those stepped edges strengthen the feature of the terrain and limit the height of the building as well, so the Expo Theme Pavilion can be noticed easily. In order to integrate the landscape style and roof style, two similar units were built in the northwest. In order to be reached conveniently by visitors, the paths connect to the roads from the north, east, and west. The circular paths surround the building, lead visitors to different areas. Around the paths, the steps are built to gradually reach the water level, forming a slope as natural as the existing ground. At the same time, two platform paths extend to the water to increase proximity between visitors and the water.
Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: Zhenfei Wang

Enhancing the Design Through the Contours Those paths, with continuous steps, strengthen the terrain features of the ground further than the original ground so that the viewers can appreciate a tensile landscape. The vegetation on the east side of the ground has been preserved, and additional trees are planned to keep the site’s original character.
Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: Zhenfei Wang

The Design in Different Scales The Heavenly Water Service Center is built on the axis of the Expo area. As an independent venue, it offers visitors a place to rest and at the same time shows its unique character with great landscaping of the original land. As a part of Expo, the Heavenly Water Service Center follows the architectural style of the Expo Theme Pavilion and plays a perfect role as foreground for it, as well. In a bigger scale, the Heavenly Water Service Center sits at the foot of the mountain and follows the trend of the natural gradient of the mountain down to the water, so that the landscape in vast scale can be continuous.
Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao

Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao. Photo credit: DuoCai Photograph

Full Project Credit: Project: Heavenly Water Service Center of International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao, Shandong Location: Qingdao, Shandong, China Completion Date: 2011-2014 Architecture: HHD_FUN Landscape Designer: HHD_FUN LDI: BDG Qingdao beiyang architectural design co., LTD Site area: 23000 m2 Floor area: 6539 m2 Photographer: Zhenfei Wang, DuoCai Photograph Client: Qingdao Shiyuan (Group) Co., Ltd Show on Google Maps

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Article by Jun Yang

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