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Aquatic Center, Dalian, China

Tuesday 13 Mar 2012

The never-ending cycle

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Four interlocking rings offer dynamic vision for multi-use Aquatic Center 

This building is conceived as a series of interconnected loops tilting in different angles as trajectories of program. The programming of the building becomes circulation or 'ring' instead of slab infill; this allows a more interesting relationship between programs as the loops always overlap with each other at different points in time; likewise, the program is in constant spatial tension as the loops gravitate or retreat from each other. The loop tilt and shear motion also creates cavity spaces in-between program for light distribution and interesting view ports to the different programs.

The programmatic components in the Aquatic Centre are divided into four main rings or circulations: the public ring is accessed from the main lobby of the building (south) allows the common user or visitor to access every other program ring. This ring is used mostly by students or visitors allowing access to baths, training and lecturing.

The service ring is accessed under the pool area functions as the main circulation ring for staff and faculty. It serves the rest of the rings at every level. The bath ring is accessed through the north east side of the building is divided in two user zones; a ground level public bath for public use and a second level bath area servicing the training or pool ring

Finally, the training ring with its 12m-high space is accessed through the public and service rings, it houses an Olympic size pool for training purposes and a smaller practicing pool adjacent to it overlooked by the lecture rooms on the 3rd level. Interconnecting nodes or joints are localised at strategic points where the rings meet.  The joints are secondary and more private set of lobbies or control points that allow or prevent the user to access the other program rings.

The get the most efficient use of the ring as a formal concept, a running track circuiting through all the other rings is placed as a datum or common point. The track changes in character at the different locations;  it expands or contracts to allow various types of exercises to happen. It also connects all the program rings conceptually and architecturally as the 'runner' - in order to complete the running loop - will pass through every other program loop, bringing him to the point of origin, a cinematic experience.

The building takes the concept of water behaviour and the ships hull as form. From afar the building seems fluid as water, fragmented and open, transparencies merging with reflections and opaqueness, but in close proximity the building becomes monumental and sublime like walking adjacent to a ocean liner's hull, the viewer then is always reminded of the character of the university as being a place that respects and acknowledges the study of  the maritime profession.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
DnA_Design and Architecture

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