Terminal Building

China

The control of borders, wherever it is exerted, comes in a pair of vectors: the entering and exiting. These two antithetical arrows usually mirror one another. They organize materials, logistic systems and job posts around a rigid axis of symmetry. Nothing escapes the order of the two opposing trajectories, and the whole -as with no particular orientation- serves as a mere combination that exhaust the directionality of the components.

Project

Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary
Control Point Passenger Terminal Building

Location

China

Collaborators

Constantinos Bouras, Architect
Dimitrios Zoupas, Architect
Io Carydi, Landscape Architect

Status

International Competition

Our design constitutes an opportunity to navigate a form that is conceived as asymmetrical, specific and vectorial, in order to differentiate the space of entering and exiting. Now, the memory can record each and every location of this anisotropic architecture. Anisotropy in Physics occurs when “a physical property has a different value when measured in different directions” like wood, which is stronger along the grain than across it. In order to diffuse the border, we decided to monumentalize the flows that permeates it. In order to do that, our solution is inspired by the humble valve. At this scale, men are treated as nebula, and rivers as lines. Though predetermined, the paths that converge, are coiled up in a manifold building. The terminal building is to the wider urban geographic context, what an artery is to the extension of the human body. Our contemporary industrial world falls short in open spaces with the potential to reanimate the act of building roads anew, grafted on an untamed landscape, connecting the two points with a concrete path. In the China of 21st century, the infrastructure is already there, requesting for extension and intensification. Our terminal building is an extension and extrusion of the peripheral high-ways: It becomes a sign in an undifferentiated Chinese landscape, as it monumentalizes the existing circuit of roads. The forms involved are inspired by speed of the moving articles and bodies. The space is to be observed from the point of view of the holder of the velocity, bestowed by the systems of transportation. Even our skylights are fashioned like linear openings to track the trajectories of the moving vehicles. In a space circumscribed by speeds, transits and flows we can no longer afford the single window opening, the corner, the detail, or the ‘here’ -anything that jeopardizes the continuum from A to B. Our elements had to be smoothened into meshworks, curves and a multiple ‘nowhere’ to better facilitate the act of conveyance.