The Responsive Healing of our Environmental
The Renovation of existing architecture is akin to performing plastic surgery. We have to diagnose the space itself, understanding the contextual relationship between the original architecture and its surroundings, as well as its original spatial features. We then look for possibilities of transformation and reformation. We establish goals for the transformation through an overview of existing architectural features and future requirements.
Our project is part of the renovation of the Chaojing Ocean Research Center. It is affiliated with the National Ocean Science and Technology Museum, an important ocean research and education facility in Taiwan. The Research Center is located in the Chaojing Park which was reclaimed from a landfill. The existing center is divided into four areas: the south building, the jet bridge, the north building, and the work station. The overall construction is divided into three phases. The first phase is the renovation of the underground culture work station, designed by architect Su Yu-zhe; The second phase involving the Ocean Research Center, the research collections in the south and the north building was designed by architect Jian Xue-yi; We were involved in the third phase connecting the jet bridge to the south and north buildings. With the idea of maintaining part of the research and office functions, this rebuild and renovation transforms the research space into a museum venue with an aquarium display, a digital multimedia interactive display, and affiliated commercial facilities for the general public.
Reimagining Architecture and Our Environment as a Vessel of Life
Architecture is a vessel of people’s lives just as a water tank is a container for fishes. It is hoped that the architecture is sited in close proximity to both the mountain and the ocean. By incorporating water elements in the design, we hope to promote greenery and fishery both inside and outside of the architecture. The mountain and ocean are transformed into the real visual focal points of architecture as well as the background for the water landscape. In our design, people can enjoy the landscape from both inside and outside. They become part of the landscape. Such a design starts from the imagination.
The existing architecture includes the underground work station covered with soil; the south and north buildings made of concrete; and a steel jet bridge spanning 40 meters. This renovation aims to increase the connection between the mountain and ocean to ultimately bring nature closer. The newly built concrete structure is placed in the gap between the buildings. Under an independent structure, it is inserted into a large water tank to link the interior spaces. Using hollow cement boards and a glass curtain wall, the original balcony presents the exhibited black boxes across from the glass gallery facing the mountain and ocean. Considering load and heat, the design replaces the covering of the jet bridge with lightweight insulation panels and paint. Through the glass curtain wall, the building becomes an ornamental container carrying people. As they view the scenery outside, they are also being observed. The lawn at the entrance and the outdoor potted plants on the second floor blend the building with fishes inside. By visually incorporating the concrete material with the green mountains beyond, the jet bridge box appears to float between the mountain and the ocean.