Striped house

Striped house

Information Centres
Qinhuangdao, Hebei, China - Build completed in 2018

Striped House

Wutopia Lab as Architects

Wutopia Lab was given the task by tourism company Aranya to revamp their concierge room near their offices to change it into a “striped” tourism information center.

I hope to continue to experiment through this small project, exploring the boundaries of architecture. To do that, I tend to design building elevations with a layered effect that attempts to blur the climatic boundaries of architecture. The skin of the original house was first replaced with semi-transparent glass to create a translucent box, but unlike previous projects that explore climatic boundaries that uses semi-transparent glass as curtain-like partitions, the box is surrounded by a solid wall, which creates a court yard that acts as the intermittent space between inside and outside. This wall is not to be mistaken as a secondary element as it holistically unitizes the box and the courtyard.

That is all we can talk about this exterior wall, but this wall has become an obvious building elevation and instead flattens the layering effect and architectural romance that I attempt to achieve. This is what I don’t want to see, yet, I am attached to the holistic nature of this wall and I also don’t want to replace this with just another semi-transparent wall. This building is located near the ocean and the structure to support light weight material such as polycarbonate and perforated steel will become much too bulky because of strong ocean winds.

What Aranya keeps on emphasizing and reminding me is the ocean. This made me think of the pattern of sea-striped shirts that is immediately associated with sailors and the ocean. I decided to use this pattern to cover completely this wall and grounds. The effect of these stripes dissipates the dominating presence of the solid wall, creating an optical illusion that distorts the elevation of this structure. Along with the deliberate punctures through the wall and the people occupying inside the semi-transparent box, this spatial arrangement creates an ambiguous and much more romantic setting. With this, the desired result was achieved even through the initial design plan was different.

This has become a newly formed antithesis, that evokes a certain giddiness that leads you to the sea.

Project team
Chief Architect
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