White Z (Veranda) by Ning Zhang
2016 - 2017, Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
The concept reconnected the images of a farmland and a contemporized area. Highly identifiable design, fine spaces and consequent public attentions are pillars of the strategy. The folded planar structure provides sufficient space for plaza and courtyard within a narrow site. Grasses on the south side block the bustling from the freeway and formed beautiful streetscape of high identity with verandas. The inviting openings on the structure create changing views for the visitors while they are walking by.
The Z structures provides a public area for the modern Agricultural Park in Jinshan, south-west of Shanghai. The structure links multiple agricultural projects and provides different activities for visitors. The veranda, an essential element in traditional Chinese gardening, has been selected as the theme of the design. Instead of the complex wooden structure of a traditional veranda, a simple concrete structure will not only harmonize the agricultural environment and the surrounding modern facilities, but also effectively guarantee that the project costs less than EUR 80 per square meter.
Design Challenges
The challenge on the balance between quality and budget, We used simple forms and structures, introduced low cost materials, including concrete, natural soils and white cobblestones and installed lightings and seating that were made of concrete for landscapes. The result is a unique style with unit cost lower than EUR 80. The challenge on the combination of tradition and modernity like verandas, terraces, courtyards and many elements in traditional Chinese spaces became the key in our design accordingly to the customs.
Production Technology
The Z Structure is 200 millimeters thick and reaches out for maximum 7 meters with the longest span of more than 10 meters, including many single cantilever structures. Meanwhile, the weight of landscape earth and limited time may cause uneven sedimentation. Below are measures we adopted to solve those problems. Improving the formula of concrete to enhance its strength, Integral casting of walls and ceilings. Light material wrapped in cantilever concrete to reduce the load, Applying cement base to guarantee even sedimentation of the large volume of earth. Applying three-dimensional grid and internal beams to guarantee the integrity of earth.
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