Longyan/Tianjin Workers’ Cultural Palace HHDesign

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Longyan/Tianjin Workers’ Cultural Palace HHDesign

Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior PhotographyLongyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior PhotographyLongyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography, FacadeLongyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography, Column+ 58

Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography
southwest aerial view. Image © Arch-Exist

Text description provided by the architects. The project is located on a triangular site in Xinluo District of Longyan City, with a pleasant view of a creek to the southwest. Above Liannan Road to the north and Donghuan Road to the east, poor quality high-rise residential areas are adjacent to the site. The Workers’ Cultural Center extends from Liannan Road where Building 1 is for vocational training, including a staff service room, training rooms, various exhibition halls and a union general office, to Donghuan Road where building 2 is located for cultural and sports activities equipped with an area A (indoor basketball court, table tennis court, yoga fitness room) and area B (staff cinema and conference). The two buildings are arranged in an L-shape, surrounding a workers’ cultural plaza integrated into Dongshan Wetland Park.

Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography, Windows
northeast side. Image © Arch-Exist

Architecture adapted to the climate. Longyan City has a typical subtropical maritime monsoon climate. Long hours of sunshine, warm humid air, and months of continuous rainfall during the annual typhoon season are the main climatic features of the city. In order to solve the problem of ventilation, shading, rain shelter and drainage, the architect realized a “passive” design improving the quality and comfort of the building. Building 1’s patio and airspace bring in cold wind and expel heat. The precast concrete elements on the south balcony provide shade from the afternoon sun while letting in the morning sunlight. In building 2, volumes at different scales extend to the east of the site, linked together by two passageways at different levels. Going up the corridors, citizens will reach different floors and eventually arrive at the rooftop garden. Rather than just a circulation space, the hallway is a semi-outdoor space for people to shelter from the sun and rain.

Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography
South facade of building #1. Image © Arch-Exist
Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography
East facade of building #2. Image © Arch-Exist

Reduction in the mass of the building. The large amount of airspace on the ground floor provides a lighter and more transparent urban interface. It creates a path between the city and the wetland park and allows citizens to stay for a while. The upper part of the building has been “hollowed out” of an intact volume and these terraces play different roles: a space for socializing; extension of interior functions and characteristic green spaces. The terraces and the air spaces are interconnected by various paths, satisfying both the function and the demand for interest.

Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography, Facade
Building #1 open concept. Image © Arch-Exist
Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography
Building #1 open concept. Image © Arch-Exist

Handcrafted and ‘low-tech’. ‘Shale brick is the main material of the Workers’ Cultural Center and the building is also interspersed with exposed concrete of highly malleable pine formwork. The combination of horizontal load-bearing concrete and vertical brick wall is fashioned from a logical design. The craftsmanship and handcrafting embodied in these materials lessens the impact imposed by low construction costs and precision on the end result. With the perennial rain in the south, the two materials will gradually become full of vicissitudes over time. The shale brick-lined plaza and building merge into a quiet, elegant space dotted with a low-cost bamboo forest.

Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography, Column
corridor between building #2 and building 1#. Image © Arch-Exist
Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography
concrete details. Image © Arch-Exist

The architecture of “dialogue. ‘The project culminates in a variety of intersecting and interconnected semi-outdoor spaces within the building. Such a semi-outdoor design not only adapts to the local climate and reduces mass; it plays an indispensable role in blurring the boundary between inside and outside where the ubiquitous conversation and communication between citizens takes place and where buildings weave a marriage with the city. Landscapes and stories intertwine and grow, bringing the building to life. When people touch the bricks and concrete of the building, they are exposed to a dialogue with the craftsmen across time and space.

Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior Photography
Atrium of building #1. Image © Arch-Exist
Longyan Workers' Cultural Palace / Tianjin HHDesign - Interior photography, facade, handrail
#1 sunken garden building. Image © Arch-Exist

After the completion of the workers’ cultural center, there were two groups of couples who took wedding photos here every day on average. Many students from the surrounding area come to the building after school to stay for a while before heading home. The Workers’ Cultural Center has become a destination for citizens’ leisure activities and integrated into daily life. Even though frequent use brings management and maintenance inconveniences, it must be happily a nuisance in a sense for the owner and the architect.

Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior photography, waterfront, windows, cityscape
West facade of building #1. Image © Arch-Exist
Longyan/Tianjin Workers' Cultural Palace HHDesign - Exterior Photography, Cityscape, Coast
view of nearby creek. Image © Arch-Exist

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