15.4.2015

Xinglong Visitor Center, in Hainan

Atelier Alter recreates the impression of numerous fishing lodges on the island in a zigzag building. By incorporating tropical plants and fishing island craftsmanship, Atelier Alter reinvents sustainable construction in an indigenous tropical syntax.

Strategically sited at the entrance to the town, the visitor center unfolds the urban transformation of Xinglong – from a fishing village to a coastal resort. The architecture of Xinglong Visitor Center inherently starts from an urban scale.

The site for the project is a trapezoidal narrow lot adjacent to the entryway of the town. We proposed a linear zigzag building that places most of the building volume in the middle and leaves the two ends with landscape and lighter constructions. Meanwhile, building volume is pushed back from the street to create a linear plaza joint by semi-enclosed open spaces. Approaching from both ends, the architecture opens up to the street in a dramatic way.

The program for visitor center includes exhibition, management, shops and caterings. To response to the mixed-use program, rather than giving a definitive formal statement, we try to recreate the impression about the fishing island, by juxtaposing different types of fishing lodges from the island on top of each other, in various scales and directions.

The project retains the memory of the fishing island in the making of architecture, by translating the craftsmanship from the island into a double curtain wall system. The structure expression is also analogous to the tropical plants on the island, emphasizing slender columns and overreaching branches.

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