Lacime Architects Applies Scale-like Aluminum Plates to 'The Wave' Art Museum in China

In Binhai new area, located on the eastern coast of Tianjin in China, Lacime Architects has completed a large multi-use exhibition area called ‘Shimao ·The Wave’. Combining a program of entertainment, ‘edutainment’, and culture, the project centers around a wave-inspired art museum, which has been achieved using parametric design and the latest BIM technology.

Located in the heart of the Bohai economic rim and close to Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park and Binhai Matsu Cultural Park, Lacime Architects has made the most of this expansive site. The entire bay area planning follows the concept of ‘point, line and plane to create a contemporary urban spatial sequence of man, sea and sky’. The art museum focuses on the theme of water and its form resembles the shape of a wave, creating a dialogue between the building and nature.

The entire exhibition area is designed with three major functional areas: The Wave (Art Museum), an outdoor theater and the public space. Each area is connected with the surrounding beach. The Art Museum rises above the ground, like a structure floating above the sea. The junction of the building also comes with three outdoor terraces overlooking the sea. This space lets visitors feel completely relaxed as they enjoy the views and sounds of nature.

Parametric design was used to create the skin of the building. The subtle arrangement of the scale-shaped aluminum plates allows the façade to reflect the sunlight from different angles throughout the day, while the pool around the building casts diffused light onto the metallic façade. Inside, the column-free space of the 30-plus-meter tall building is achieved by a thin shell structure that balances the load of the structure in three different directions.

BIM technology has also been utilized to enable more than 13 thousand of the scales to fit on the façade, delivering a rhythmic spiral texture. The façade is also designed to achieve a perfect balance in efficient heat insulation and appropriate daylighting. All the electromechanical devices are concealed underground, and the roof and building skin make up an integrated design. with the help of technology, this pure form has been realized.

From the ceiling fabric, patterned glass screen, to the transparent floor-to-ceiling windows, the interior is also created to represent the element of water. The first-floor hall is a round space, and light beams begin to stream down from the dark space. The lobby is designed with a mixture of ‘water’ curtain and stainless steel, which offers a quiet visual-tactile experience. The second-floor is installed with a huge glass curtain wall, 8 meters at its highest, which helps bring in natural light and sea views while breaking down the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.




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