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Architects of urban projects are increasingly in thrall to water, believing it benefits them in a number of ways — from the aesthetic to the psychological. In one sense, when reflected in water, buildings look larger and more imposing. Yet water’s evanescent, organic qualities can also soften and appear to dematerialise their severe lines, even making them look ethereal.


伦敦巨大的野兽派混凝土建筑巴比肯艺术中心因植物茂盛的湖水而添色。建筑师Louis Khan设计的一体化建筑达卡孟加拉国议会大厦始建于1961年,越过旁边的人工湖看过去简直象在梦境里。建筑师Frank Gehry设计的巴黎新路易斯威登基金会中心今秋开放,这座艺术馆有帆状玻璃结构,像漂浮在水上花园。
     城市中的水常常象征着自然。像植物给市民提供舒缓的解药来缓解城市生活的压力。水的有机美感也用来调剂建筑物 — 例如建筑师Santiago Calatrava1998年在西班牙瓦伦西亚建造的建筑综合体“艺术科学城”。日本建筑师Tadao Ando重点关注建筑物和自然、室内和室外的融合,他设计的得克萨斯州沃斯堡现代艺术博物馆采用玻璃面设计,1.5英亩的水池浮现其中,创造了浑然一体的印象。在这个项目中,Ando利用了玻璃和水的视觉相似性。

The five restaurant buildings at Hassell’s Palm Island project in Chongqing, China, which glow glamorously at night. Their organic shapes complement the lagoons and ‘water courtyard’ they front
The hulking volume of London’s concrete, brutalist Barbican Centre is leavened by its lushly planted lakes, while Louis Khan’s monolithic National Parliament House in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose construction began in 1961, looks almost dreamlike when viewed across the artificial lake beside it. This autumn sees the opening of Frank Gehry’s new Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, an art gallery with a sail-like, glass structure that will seem to float above a water garden.
Water in cities is often equated with nature. Like vegetation, it offers urbanites a soothing antidote to stressful city living. Water is also used to complement architecture with an organic aesthetic — take Santiago Calatrava’s 1998 City of Arts and Sciences building complex in Valencia, Spain. One of Japanese starchitect Tadao Ando’s key concerns is to fuse architecture and nature, indoors and out, and his glass-fronted design for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, creates the impression of forming a seamless whole with the 1.5-acre pond it emerges from. Here, Andao has exploited glass’s visual similarity to water.



     Hassell 事务所还将餐厅的服务区隐藏在水下,确保水景的连续性,进一步证明了水在这里发挥的核心作用。水除了美感,也具有实用的和环保的功能:建筑物的反射面和吹过水面的微风降低了温度和能耗,同时收集的和再生的水补充湖水。

Chongqing is one of China’s hottest, most humid cities in summer, but at Palm Island breezes blowing over the water and its buildings’ reflective facades help to reduce temperatures
One particularly extensive use of water can be found at Australian architect Hassell’s, Palm Island project, in China. On the banks of the Qingnian Reservoir in Chongqing and Palm Spring Geological Park Lake, Palm Island comprises five curvilinear restaurant buildings that appear to float on the water like islands in an archipelago. Customers can enjoy views of the lagoons and a circular ‘water courtyard’ with an infinity pool-style border. By day, the buildings — fronted by glass and white ceramic rods — catch the sunlight as it dances on the water; by night, their glamorous reflections can be seen in it, thanks to lights incorporated into their facades.
Hassell also secreted the restaurants’ service zones beneath the waterline to ensure that views of the water are uninterrupted, further proof of the central role it plays here. Aesthetics aside, the water also performs a practical and environmentally friendly function: the buildings’ reflective facades and breezes blowing across the water reduce temperatures and energy use, while harvested and recycled water replenishes the lakes.



按照项目负责人Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli的说法,OMA公司独特的干预“对室内和室外的关系提出了疑问:水元素涌入空间,改变了空间比例,反映了出乎意料的观点。”

当代建筑师对水的喜爱在米兰6月举办的Prada2015春夏男装T台秀也是显而易见。例如,建筑师Rem Koolhaas的工作室OMA经常和Prada公司合作,它创造了可移植展馆来展现意大利品牌的文化项目 – 利用地下厂房空间,魔法般变出宝石蓝色水池和像是悬在水上的长方形T台。OMA把这个超现实环境描述成“处于洞穴、游轮和室内泳池之间”。当大多数建筑师因为水的自然属性而欣然采用时,相反,OMA把水排布成过度人工化的冷冷的静态表面。

OMA’s surreal runway for Prada’s spring/summer 2015 menswear collection in Milan last June paired a stylised, sapphire-blue pool and a carpeted catwalk in a subterranean, industrial space
According to its project leader Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, OMA’s unusual intervention ‘questions the relationship between outdoors and indoors: water invades the space, changing its proportions and reflecting unexpected points of view’

Contemporary architecture’s affection for the aqueous was also in evidence at Prada’s spring/ summer 2015 menswear runway show, held in Milan in June. Rem Koolhaas’s studio OMA, which collaborates regularly with Prada – it has, for example, created a portable pavilion to showcase the Italian label’s cultural projects – took an industrial, subterranean space and magicked it into a pool of sapphire-blue water and a rectangular catwalk that appeared to hover above it. OMA describes the surreal environment as somewhere ‘between a cave, cruise ship and indoor pool’. While most architects embrace water for its natural qualities, OMA did the opposite, marshalling it into an ultra-artificial, coldly static surface.



用水来细微地调剂城市建筑是更普遍的趋势。当水浅且透明时,这种方法非常适用,就像法国TVK工作室对巴黎协和广场改建实例所显示的。协和广场现在是城市的最大步行区,通过让周围道路变窄来扩建。与之相比,增加浅的倒影池是非常小的改变。水池邻接玻璃咖啡馆,形成了优美的连续的线条。这个项目也以150棵新树为傲,象征另外一种城市水特色的趋势 – 创造城市绿洲。

French studio TVK’s radical remodelling of Paris’s Place de la République has vastly enlarged the square and includes a popular, shallow pool that epitomises today’s trend towards understated, urban water features
A more common trend is to use water to make subtle interventions in urban architecture. When shallow and transparent, water lends itself well to this approach, as demonstrated by French practice TVK’s redesign of Paris’s Place de la République. Compared with its decision to enlarge the square by making the surrounding roads narrower, such that it’s now the city’s largest pedestrian area, the addition of a shallow reflective pool – which forms an elegantly continuous line with an adjoining glass-fronted café – is a highly minimal intervention. The project, which also boasts 150 new trees, embodies another strand of the trend towards featuring water in cities – the creation of an urban oasis.




OMGEVING’s similarly serene water feature, which fronts Averbode Abbey near Diest, Belgium, serves another purpose typical of contemporary, urban water features — reflecting architecture, in this case the baroque abbey
Belgian architects OMGEVING’s shallow pond in the courtyard of the 17th-century Averbode Abbey near Diest, in Belgium, is similarly restrained, though the main focus here is on the water. Its serene, limpid film of water – which forms a simple, organic shape with rounded corners and no obvious border — acts as a neutral foil to the baroque architecture of the church reflected in it. Like TVK’s pool, the water here is shallow enough for people to paddle in.




瑞士建筑师Westpol设计的位于奥地利Vöcklabruck的特殊观光台看起来更有沉浸感。游客可以随便走到湖中,通过两面有墙的斜坡到达一个圆形的观光台,在设计的环绕式长凳上凝视水景和林地。它让人印象深刻的想起艺术家Richard Wilson的传奇作品<<20:50>>,他在1987年安装了类似的结构。但与其利用漆黑的机油带来骇人的效果相比,Westpol的项目则营造了一个诗情画意的田园。

Westpol’s quirky observation deck in the centre of a lake, reached by a ramp, sees the city almost submerged by nature, with visitors surrounded by reflective water and lush woodland
Seemingly more immersive is Swiss practice Westpol’s idiosyncratic observation deck in Vöcklabruck, Austria. This sees visitors literally walk into a lake via a ramp flanked by walls that leads to a circular observation deck with a wraparound bench designed for contemplating the water and woodland. It’s strikingly reminiscent of 20:50, artist Richard Wilson’s legendary, similarly structured installation of 1987. But while this contains pitch-black engine oil to menacing effect, Westpol’s project is idyllically pastoral.


     更有深远意义的是,环保人士关注地球日益减少的自然资源,这些问题正激发某些激进的未来主义的概念,不仅包括相对小的水景,还包括宽阔的海洋。以AT Design Office设计事务所设计的浮城为例,我们的地球建筑林立以至于城市可能需要建在海上,浮城是个假想的解决办法。这种观点还存在争论,有待探讨。Hassell公司的负责人Tony McCormick说:“人口压力让浮城的想法有吸引力,但是海洋生物处于人类活动的巨大压力下,不需要另外应对浮城的影响。相反我们应该在陆地上建造更环保的城市。”

Surrounding trees in Mayfair, London, this water feature by Tadao Ando and Blair Associates creates an urban oasis. It also periodically sprays clouds of misty water to arrestingly atmospheric effect
True to form, Tadao Ando, in collaboration with London practice Blair Associates, recently designed a truly original water feature that evokes nature right in the centre of London: Mayfair. Part of the Grosvenor estate’s £10m programme to upgrade some of its streets in Mayfair and Belgravia, it consists of a water-filled basin encircling trees in front of The Connaught hotel. Around the base of these are atomisers that spray clouds of water for 15 seconds every 15 minutes, blurring the straight edges of nearby buildings and diffusing strong sunlight. At night, fibre-optic lights below the water’s surface illuminate the trees.
More profoundly, environmentalist concerns about the planet’s dwindling natural resources are inspiring some radically futuristic architectural concepts involving not just relatively small water features but swathes of the sea. Take AT Design Office’s Floating City — a hypothetical solution to our planet becoming so built-up that cities might need to be constructed on our oceans. Arguably, this is questionable. ‘Population pressures make the idea of floating cities attractive,’ says Tony McCormick, a principal at Hassell. ‘But the organisms in our oceans are under great pressure from human activity, and do not need to deal additionally with the impact of floating cities. Instead, we should create more environmentally friendly cities on land.’



AT Design Office设计事务所设计的超未来主义“浮城”概念,在一个10平方公里的岛上建造节能的可持续发展的大都市,梦想以此来避免对地球乡土环境的破坏。

尽管委托于中国中国交通建设集团第四航务公司的浮城项目具有不可否定的独创性,同时也如其设计者Slavomir Siska所说是“节能和自给自足的”。它规划了延伸到海下的10平方公里的浮游岛。由互锁的预制模块制造,可以在真实岛屿上组装,然后漂浮到指定地点进行连接。陆地上将由电动车辆来运输,水下由潜艇运输。岛上的农场能种植食物,垃圾将在回收中心进行处理。这个设想也是引人入胜的未来主义的复苏,让人回想起先锋派建筑师Archigram在1960年发明的嵌入式城市理论,想象模块和居民单元能够嵌入到更大的基础设施里。

AT Design Office’s ultra-futuristic concept for a Floating City, an energy-efficient, sustainable metropolis on a 10-sq-km island dreamt up as an alternative to destroying the earth’s countryside
Yet Floating City, commissioned by Chinese construction firm CCCC-FHDI, is both undeniably inventive and, says its architect Slavomir Siska, ‘energy-efficient and self-sufficient’. It proposes a 10-sq-km floating island that would extend beneath the sea. Made of interlocking, prefabricated modules, it would be assembled on a real island, then floated to the site and connected. Transport would be provided by electric vehicles on the island and, beneath it, by submarines. Farms on the island would cultivate food, and rubbish would be disposed of in a recycling centre. This fantasy is also appealingly retro-futuristic, recalling the theoretical Plug-In City – devised by the 1960s’ avant-garde architects Archigram – which envisioned modular, residential units that could ‘plug in’ to a larger infrastructure.
For now, though, the approach to designing urban water features is considerably more low-tech but is still making waves.





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