GSD 2012 Fall Option Studio- Common Framework by Christopher Lee
The project is situated in the CBD site of east Xiamen. Architecturally, it rethinks the space for mixing working, living, and cooperation through manipulating the urban dominant type- Qilou. From the social point of view, the project is also the manifestation of the political circumstance between Xiamen (China) and Kinmen (Taiwan).
The original park proposed by HOK cuts the site into two halves. As the interpretation of shop houses in macro scale, two rolls of residential bars, which situated in between HOK buildings from each side, stretched inward and divided existing fabric into different urban pockets, leaving a large void space on ground level. The circular shape of the void area creates a superficial symbol of unification. The office units are scattered in the circular void area. Each office unit consists of an exterior space, a transitional corridor space, an interior space, and a shared space in the back. This is another interpretation of the shop house.
Considering the issue of Cross-Strait cooperation, the project argues against the sameness of conventional CBD and the notion of unification. Though its architecture creates an absolute and trans-scaling generic common framework for the entire site, the use of different landscape and variations in accessibility creates a softness and programmatic difference between the two sides. Within the common framework, the two sides interact. Yet through acknowledging and respecting the differences, the two sides gain benefits without decreasing their own values. That is the essence of cooperation.