DESIGN | THE LOTUS BUILDING IN WUJIN, CHINA
Home to some of the most banal and sublime modern architecture, China has just unveiled a stunning new sculptural building Called the Lotus Building that falls into the latter category. Located in the heart of Wujin, the burgeoning southern district of Changzhou, Jiangsu PRC, the structure and the surrounding 3.5 hectare People’s Park have been designed by Australian firm Studio 505 to be an “inhabited sculptural form.” Emerging naturally from the lake, visitors enter from beneath and are greeted with a cathedral like revelation of space where colour and light combine and illuminate to create a bright and uplifting interior atmosphere, no matter the weather. Transitioned and graded colour is applied to the side of the petal ribs, creating a deep hue only at the edge of the structure. Hand laid and varied white, beige and stainless steel hexagon mosaic tile finishes cover all external and internal surfaces; merging seamlessly to create a continuous form with studio505’s bespoke 7m high suspended chandelier at the apex, becoming the focus of attention, inside and out. The most impressive feature of the structure, however, is a night lighting system devised to hold a series of changing natural colour combinations for 20 seconds before slowly transitioning to the next scene over 10 seconds. Additionally, the project has been designed to minimize energy usage, with over 2500 geothermal piles driven through the base of the artificial lake, The entire lake water mass and ground beneath is utilized to pre-cool (summer) and pre-warm (winter) the air conditioning systems for both the lotus and the two story building beneath the lake The property is also naturally ventilated and employs evaporative cooling from the surrounding pool’s surface to drive a thermal chimney within the main flower pod.
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