H2O

Hangzhou, China
Architects
Superimpose Architecture
Location
Hangzhou, China
Team
Carolyn Leung, Ben de Lange, Ruben Bergambagt, Valentin Račko, 杜云桥, Arianna Bavuso, Ana Raluca Timisescu

After the client noticed the success of the Micr-O education center in Hangzhou, Superimpose was asked to design an experience centre for the small agriculture city of Hexi located in Jiangsu province. The focus on agriculture and organic farming is one of the most recent shifts of Chinese Developments. Hexi itself is famous for its sweet water crayfish industry and the H2O project is designed to promote the remote agricultural region and the crayfish farming industry.

One of the visual characteristics of crayfish farming in which Superimpose found its inspiration is the water lily. Its roots is the nutrients for crayfish. Superimpose visited the site and decided to design the new experience and education centre as close as possible to the farming location, and even intended to be part of it. The circular ring shape is superimposed on an existing dyke situated between two different types of crayfish ponds. With its remarkable but prominent location the project becomes a literal bridge between farmer and visitor and promote interactions between visitors and farmers.

The roof of the circular building is tilted. This creates a full loop experience from a highest viewpoint towards the ‘water bridge’, the lower side of the crayfish farming. The rhythmic wooden structure wraps around giving the building a clear structural and recognizable framework.

The dyke cutting through the building creates full accessibility to the different functions. Inside the building a small hotel, restaurant and showrooms are situated. At the perimeter of the building, bridges extend into the farmlands and crayfish ponds allowing visitors to be part of the natural elements. These bridges create the opportunity to explore and contemplate in the farm fields. While the circular form also informs a gathering purpose, in which a central performance stage is situated around a lily pond.

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