The design concept is founded on the natural conditions of the littoral site of Hainan Island. While the site is exposed to the harsh elements of nature, the sun, the wind, and flood tides, yet only through its own vulnerability does the site gain its natural beauty. Like a living creature, architecture responds to the sun the wind and the sea; breathing in and out, withstanding these natural forces. This paradox underlies our attitude and approach toward the site and building design. This proposal attempts to heighten the awareness of its inhabitants to its implicit natural beauty. Not unlike agricultural farm land typically found in Hainan, the network system in a form of diamond gridding is introduced on the site from the land along the shoreline of Baimajing and extended out toward the ocean. This network system becomes a major artery defining all movement and circulation throughout the site.
Two main programs, commercial retail and serviced apartments, are strategically located within this diamond grid system, taking the most advantage of the site!s vulnerability and beauty. The diamond grid system provides great porosity to such a large development. The development is rhythmically divided into smaller enclaves, allowing one to engage with it on a human scale. About five meters above the retail volume lies a horizontal surface defined as an artificial rolling landscape of park and garden. Strategically situated, this rolling landscape identifies the clear boundary between the public program of commercial retail and the private program of residential serviced apartments. It also provides shade to the outdoor market (the rooftop space of the actual retail enclave) right below it, which is most desirable in such hot climate as in Hainan Island.
The diamond grid system will be built on stilts, allowing erosion and flood tides, and other natural phenomena to take place. The diamond grid system will determine programmatic arrangement and bend towards the orientation of the prevailing wind to maximize natural ventilation. The architecture becomes instrumental in gauging nature, not controlling it.... allowing humans to observe and experience its impermanent beauty. One can physically and visually experience the fluctuation of the sea level below while moving along the pedestrian walkways through the enclave of retail with an ocean view and the open sky at the end of each walkway.
Yang Pu Bay, Baimajing, Hainan Island
Raveevarn Choksombatchai, Norbert Wong, MengMeng Shi, Kiley Feickert, Peter Suen, and John Flaherty