Located in the heart of Wujin, China, the Lotus Building by Melbourne-based practice Studio505 has been designed to act as a cultural anchor and civic landmark – establishing a symbolic commitment of the local government’s ambitions and future aspirations.
The physical form of the building has been determined by the need to create a structure which has a distinctive presence; a character piece in a city can be in parts anonymous like so many other rapidly developing Chinese cities.
The development, ultimately, seeks to generate participation, to build an ownership of place that builds ties to the community and entices its people to stay and flourish and not to be drawn away. This landmark aims to bring longevity and depth to the community; to set a new standard for architectural ambition in the area and stimulate further urban development.
Conceived as an inhabited sculptural form, emerging naturally from the artificial lake; the visitor enters from beneath and is greeted with a cathedral like revelation of space. Colour and light combine and illuminate, creating a bright and uplifting interior atmosphere, no matter the weather. Transitioned and graded colour is applied to the side of the petal ribs, creating a deep hue only at the edge of the structure. Hand laid and varied white, beige and stainless steel hexagon mosaic tile finishes cover all external and internal surfaces; merging seamlessly to create a continuous form with studio505’s bespoke 7m high suspended chandelier at the apex, becoming the focus of attention, inside and out.
Studio 505’s design creates a vibrant public realm; key to which is a night lighting system devised to hold a series of changing natural colour combinations for 20 seconds before slowly transitioning to the next scene over 10 seconds.
all images © JOHN GOLLINGS