Herzog & de Meuron
Project and realization
2004–2006
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Process

Ai Weiwei conceives an architecture park with 17 pavilions for 17 different purposes on a strip of riverside wasteland on the other side of the river to the new Jindong District.

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The strip of no-man’s land is over two kilometers long and mostly no more than eighty meters in width. Ai Weiwei asks Herzog & de Meuron to recommend suitable young architects. Many of them are later involved in his project for Ordos in Inner Mongolia. Herzog & de Meuron design Pavilion 15 at the eastern end of the site.

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Asian scholars’ rocks are the architects’ first point of reference.

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The architects wrap a cube with a linear network of irregular honeycombs, which determines where spaces are to be created.

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The resulting spaces are based on postures that people adopt as they move around, sit or lie down and read.

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The spaces, which all differ from each other, form an open structure. It is approached by a sunken ramp, which creates a protective atmosphere.

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The concrete is dyed to match the color of the soil in the surrounding area; the wood of the roof terrace is painted in the same color.

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The spatial structure, digitally developed on the computer, is converted into an analog model by a local craftsman and constructed from ten-centimeter sections of hand-poured concrete.

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The pavilion is much more than just somewhere to read: users can walk into it, climb on it, and rest here; it is also a sociable meeting place.

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Herzog & de Meuron use the same digital design method to develop a second structure, made from wood, for the exhibition Archiskulptur.

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The method developed for Jinhua can also be used in other situations. The tree sculpture has a footprint of 3 x 3 meters and is 9 meters high.

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Unlike the pavilion for the park in Jinhua, this spatial structure is not built by adding concrete sections, but rather milled out by subtracting material.

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The structure invites various uses—anything from a kennel to a tree house—each of which changes its relationship to the surrounding parkland.

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The wooden structure is not only designed using a computer; it is also realized with the aid of a computer in the form of three blocks, which are assembled at Fondation Beyeler.

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Jinhua Structure II affords users a bodily experience of verticality and offers them various ways of relating to their surroundings.

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Herzog & de Meuron design a third, Styrofoam variant of the Jinhua Structure for an exhibition in Genoa as a walk-in pergola for a courtyard, which is, however, not realized.

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Team

Facts

Client
Jinhua Structure I – Cube: Jindong New District Constructing Headquarters of Jinhua City; Jinhua Structure II – Vertical: Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland
Planning
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Associate Architect: Fake Design, Beijing, China
Structural Engineering (Structure I): WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
Engineering und Planning (Structure II): SJB.Kempter.Fitze AG, Herisau, Switzerland
Engineering (Structure II): Ingenieurbüro, CNC.Technik im Holzbau, Waldshut-Eschbach, Germany
Wood (Structure II): Holzbau Amman GmbH, Weilheim-Bannholz, Germany; Holzbau Sauer, Höfen, Switzerland; Holzbau Huter, Innsbruck, Austria
Specialist / Consulting
Consultant for wood construction (Structure II): Creation Holz GmbH, Herisau, Switzerland
Wood Transport (Structure II): HIAG Handel Basel; ITA, Füllinsdorf, Switzerland
Building Data
Footprint: 96 sqft, 9 sqm
Length: 9 ft, 3 m
Width: 9 ft, 3 m
Height: 29 ft, 9 m
Links
www.aiweiwei.com

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1997-2001. The Complete Works. Volume 4.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. Vol. No. 4.

“XS Extreme. Big Ideas, Small Buildings.” Edited by: Phyllis Richardson. London, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2009. pp. 78-81.

Hubertus Adam: “Follies am Flussufer. Jinhua Architectural Park, 2004-2006.” In: Verband freierwerbender Schweizer Architekten FSAI (Ed.). “Archithese. Internationale Zeitschrift und Schriftenreihe für Architektur. Kunst – Architektur.” Vol. No. 4, Sulgen, Niggli Ltd, 07.2007. pp. 40-45.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.” Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ai Weiwei: “Jinhua Architecture Park. Ai Weiwei. Interview Hans Ulrich Obrist.” In: Stefano Boeri (Ed.). “Domus. Monthly Review of Architecture, Design, Art and Information.” Vol. No. 894, Milan, Domus S.p.A., 07.2006. pp. 14-29.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006. Monumento e Intimidad.” The Monumental and the Intimate.” Vol. No. 129/130, Madrid, El Croquis, 2006.

Herzog & de Meuron: “Der Jinhua-Pavillon.” In: Markus Brüderlin, Fondation Beyeler (Eds.). “ArchiSkulptur. Dialoge zwischen Architektur und Plastik vom 18. Jahrhundert bis heute. Exh. Cat. ArchiSkulptur. Dialoge zwischen Architektur und Plastik vom 18. Jahrhundert bis heute.” Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Basel. 3 October 2004 – 30 January 2005. Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2004. pp. 207-209.

Location