by STIRworldMar 09, 2023
Architectural acumen is best expressed when it remains in close proximity to nature, the contextual landscape conversing and blending with the building. In what capacity can the built reference, and abide by nature, and celebrate at its heart, the beauty of simple living?
A swirling snowy white pavilion balances organic geometry and natural coastal landscape into a scenic landmark in China—realised over four years, the Sky Mountain - Haikou Bay No.6 High Standard Seaside Station conceived by acclaimed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto takes on a ‘nature valley form’ in Haikou, China, balancing man-made and natural environments. According to Sou Fujimoto Architects, the meandering organic architecture built for Hainan Provincial Tourism Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd., and spread over 3,600 sqm becomes “a stage for a new type of experience and space.”
Resting gently on a picturesque seaside nook, the Chinese architecture glows ethereally as it merges into its natural context, like a ‘mountain in the sky.’ "We believe the Haikou Seaside Stop pavilion is a focal point providing an opportunity to its travellers to meander between the city and nature, with places for social happenings,” the Japanese architects relay, who are known to strike cogent, longstanding relations between the man-made and natural through their architectural projects.
Articulated in fair-faced concrete and glass, the Sky Mountain pavilion features a valley-like rooftop with an imperceptibly sloping profile that connects the city side to the seaside. With a spatial program hosting a coffee bar, bookstore, areas for temporary exhibitions, and open-air spaces for leisure, the circular pavilion design overlooks the sea in Hainan, a renowned vacation spot in coastal China, circular white rings bleeding into the green, the built blending harmoniously with the verdant landscape.
Reminiscent of snow-capped mountains, the contemporary architecture unfurls as a vision in white, encapsulating the sea’s fluidity and the limitless stretching sky, with white rings undulating at various angles housing a circular green courtyard at its middle. Creating a balanced dialogue between man-made and natural settings, all the areas of the pavilion are housed under one swirling roof with a shared, open floor space.
From the walkable roof, visitors have access to strategic vantage points that enable them to enjoy breathtaking sunsets over the sea, apart from encountering almost 800 sqm of public spaces and leisure areas outlining the concrete architecture's program, the roof dipping at places to host serene white staircases. These designed open-air pockets seek peaceful moments among low-lying clouds, rolling coastal landscapes, and the charming glittering sea, sparsely populated with local flora stretching for miles on end.
A pure white oculus in open worship of the sky, the sea, and the land, the Sky Mountain- Haikou Bay No.6 High Standard Seaside Station by Sou Fujimoto Architects beckons visitors to hark upon a spatial experience that is choreographed to remain in close, symbiotic dialogue with nature. Harmonising with its coastal backdrop, the contextual architecture expresses its own dynamic identity and speaks of its time and place in nature.
Name: Sky Mountain- Haikou Bay No.6 High Standard Seaside Station
Location: Haikou, China
Area: 21, 600 sqm (site area); 3, 600 sqm (building area - including 600 sqm basement, and other area under roof); 1600 sqm (total floor area)
Year of completion: 2023
Client: Hainan Provincial Tourism Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd.
Architect: Sou Fujimoto Architects
Design team: Sou Fujimoto (principal in charge), Yibei Liu, Wei Wang, Hwasun Im, Xuan Bo, Xiaolin Li, Tony Yu (ex-staff), Calum Mulhern, Panit Limpiti
Executive Architects: China Southwest Architecture
General contractor: China Construction Eighth Engineering Division Co., Ltd
Commercial Operator: ARANAYA