Shore to shore

Mario Cipresso
Tuesday 23 Feb 2010

Hybrid program creates beach on the shore of the Anning River in Sichuan Province

A model for aquatic fun has been completed by Studio Shift in the Sichuan Province of China. The Anning River Aquatic Recreation Center has been designed to simultaneously create a new model recreational tourism while redefining the public role of such an amenity within the city.

The 47,000 sq m Center, currently positioned for completion in 2014, immediately strives to connect to all adjacent public infrastructures by bringing the riverfront promenade and the pedestrian movement alongside the hydroelectric dam directly into the lobby. This circulation system which penetrates the building at the upper level forms the connective tissue linking the disparate program elements and site edges, ultimately, delineating the overall programmatic organization of the structure. Here various site forces and axes are mediated through intersection and overlap, creating hybridized moments and spatial conditions that bring a rather porous edge condition to a program that conventionally assumes an introverted posture and shelters itself from the urban condition.

The creation of two significant exterior public spaces programmed with casual water activities alludes to the more intense purpose served by the Center and allows the public to engage the project in a more passive capacity. These public spaces assume a dimension appropriate to large-scale aggregation in order to facilitate a broad range of high-intensity activities as well as casual gathering. To further enhance the public life of the Center, retail space is provided on the eastern edge of the project at street level, below the parking garage, intending to create a diversification of program and usage types. The retail program is replicated directly above as a transitional program on the upper circulation system within the Center bridging between the heart of the aquatic facility and the residential program on the southern edge.

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