Qiandao Lake Cable Car Station

Hangzhou, China
Photo © Shengliang Su
Photo © Bian Lin
Photo © Bian Lin
Photo © Bian Lin
Photo © Bian Lin
Architects
Archi-Union Architects
Year
2016
Cost
Undisclosed
Stories
1-5 Stories

We decided to use the form of the mountain itself as a departure; from there we sought to go beyond that initial step and reach something more intrinsic to the site and requirements of the building. The process began with GIS analysis of the site to read what information could be gathered from the terrain. We analyzed a plot that, from satellite view, was a four-sided rectangular shape. That rectangle defined the variety of terrain typical of the area. Next we used genetic algorithms to model the logic of that topography. From this output we discovered a grammar of geometry related to our site. By first using the computer to study geographical information in its abstract form, our first design stage remained objective in its approach. In this process we found forms with direct origin and geometrical grammar connected to our site, these forms foreshadowed the resulting shape of our built project that would emerge later on. Of course, form-finding geometry is not the product of an autonomous algorithm but instead is the result of ample consideration given to the influence function and lines of movement have upon a real space.
The design process led us away from convenient traditional structural systems and pushed towards a challenging cantilevered structural solution. On one hand, the project had to meet the needs of its anticipated program, it also had to deal with the complicated environment surrounding it. It must find a reasonable solution to bridge the scale difference between the low level at the water’s edge and the height required for the building all while using structure not only for support but also for expression and as a means of integrating into the east side town fabric. Doing this while striving for grace, elegance, intimacy with location and a harmony between architecture and its environment were all important.

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