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2013_02_20
SKY COURTS EXHIBITION HALL
         

 
SKY COURTS EXHIBITION HALL│Höweler + Yoon Architecture

 
Eric Höweler AIA, LEED AP (b. Cali, Colombia) is a registered architect with 15 years of experience in practice. He received a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters of Architecture from Cornell University. Eric was an Associate Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, where he was the senior designer for the 118 story ICC Tower in Hong Kong. Eric was also a senior designer at Diller + Scofidio, where he was a senior designer on the ICA Museum in Boston and the Juillard School in New York. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and principal at Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

J. Meejin Yoon, RA, FAAR (b. Seoul, Korea) is an architect, designer, and educator. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with the AIA Henry Adams Medal and a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and principal at Höweler + Yoon Architecture. She is the recipient of the United States Artist Award in Architecture/Design, the Athena RISD/Target Emerging Designer Award, the Rome Prize in Design, the Young Architects Award from the Architectural League, and a Fulbright Scholar.
 
 
 
 
 
 The brickwork is detailed to emphasize the tectonics of the brick as a building module as well as the oblique geometries of the building.

 
The sequence of these precincts creates a series of layered spaces where one can view one courtyard from one to the next to the next - looking in the space from the inside to the outside back inside again.
 
 
 
 

Using economic and familiar window and door sizes, these apertures are packed together using facetted Corten steel ‘window surrounds.’

 
 
 
 

Using local construction strategies, materials and techniques to create a simple but culturally resonant project on the site, the overall effect is an Exhibition Hall which fits into the Chengdu building context, learning from the context’s heritage.

 
 
 
 
The perimeter walls of the structure vary in height from 11 to 15 metres and are made from locally produced grey brick.  
 
 
 
 
The Sky Courts Exhibition Hall, located in the International Intangible Culture Park in Chengdu China, uses the inward facing strategy of the traditional Chinese courtyard house, creating a variety of aggregated exhibition galleries within one building. Broken up into a series of variably scaled halls wrapped around seven courtyards, the structure creates a range of open spaces inside the deep floor plan. This ‘packed’ and ‘wrapped’ internal organization has both spatial and environmental benefits for the building.
Spatially, the composition of courtyards within the larger building complex becomes a network of spaces linked together by multiple paths, producing an exhibition hall that is at once open and sub-divided. The sequence of these precincts creates a series of layered spaces where one can view one courtyard from one to the next to the next - looking in the space from the inside to the outside back inside again. The centre of each courtyard maintains a pure rectilinear geometry, while the overall perimeter of the building accommodates the irregular site boundaries. The roof geometry consists of a series of inward sloping roofs. The roof profile at the perimeter undulates to create peaks and valleys. Alternating the steeper inclines of the major ridge lines produces a hyperbolic ruled surface for each roof plane. The use of the ceramic roof tiles creates resistance between each tile unit to negotiate the non-planar roof condition.
Environmentally, several passive energy strategies (cross-ventilation, thermal mass, and the introduction of daylight) were developed as integral with the essential design strategy. In order to create a passively cooled building (there is no active cooling in the building), it was critical to capitalize on cross-ventilation through and up the courtyard spaces. The concrete and brick infill walls create a significant thermal mass to regulate temperature swings throughout the day. Furthermore, the configuration of spaces around the multiple courtyards creates abundant daylight, reducing the need for electric lighting during a significant portion of the day. The daylighting and passive cooling strategies inherited from the traditional courtyard house are therefore here re-deployed in this contemporary context.
The perimeter walls of the structure vary in height from 11 to 15 metres and are made from locally produced grey brick. The brickwork is detailed to emphasize the tectonics of the brick as a building module as well as the oblique geometries of the building.
The windows and external doors are clustered along the facades to create a larger figurative composition, as compared to the impact each individual window would typically make in such a large internally oriented structure. Using economic and familiar window and door sizes, these apertures are packed together using facetted Corten steel ‘window surrounds.’ The figurative surrounds negotiate between the scale of a window and the scale of the large exhibition hall, providing an intermediate scale that approaches the tactility found at the level of the masonry detailing.
Using local construction strategies, materials and techniques to create a simple but culturally resonant project on the site, the overall effect is an Exhibition Hall which fits into the Chengdu building context, learning from the context’s heritage and providing a unique contemporary, flexible and sustainable space for International Exhibitions.
 
Provided by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Architect:
Höweler + Yoon Architecture (Eric Höweler, J. Meejin Yoon)
Project Team: Meredith Miller, Ryan Murphy, Parker Lee, Jennifer Chuong, Casey Renner, Chua Matthew, Nerijus Petrokas, Zi Liu, Saran Oki, Cyrus Dochow, Thena Tak, Yushiro Okamoto, Jeremy Jih
Location: Chengdu, China
Program: Cultural Building(Exhibition Hall)
Services: Architecture (New Construction)
Completion time: July 2011
Total Area: 6,271m2
Client: Chengdu Quingyang SCD, Ltd
 
Materials provided by Höweler+Yoon Architecture│Photographed by Yihuai Hu (otherwise indicated)

 

 
 
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no.543 (2013.February) 
 
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