SHANGHAI — Archi-Union Architects completed work this year on a fabulous bit of bricklaying for the newly-opened Chi She art studio. The building, the architects say, mimics the studio’s attitude toward realism. The art space utilizes an old building, but the architect’s update is like a comment of tradition versus changing cultural trends and technology. The standout feature of the gray-green brick facade is the bulging shape, which the architects define as “form manipulation.” The material for this structure comes from the original brick.
The architects state of the process:
In order to complete such a masonry process that cannot be precisely achieved by traditional technology, we applied the robotic masonry fabrication technique by Fab-Union, which accomplishes the first endeavor to utilize the advanced digital fabrication technology to construct on site. The external walls of Chi She were built by the recycled grey green bricks from the old building and constructed with the help of a mechanical arm, which generates a cambered surface morphology, showing the vitality of Chi She.
The precise positioning of the integrated equipment of robotic masonry fabrication technique and the construction elaborately to the mortar and bricks by the craftsmen makes this ancient material, brick, be able to meet the requirements in the new era, and realizes the presentation of the design model consummately. The dilapidation of these old bricks coordinated with the stretch display of the curving walls are narrating a connection between people and bricks, machines and construction, design and culture, which will be spread permanently in the shadow of external walls under the setting sun.
About the Studio
Founded in 2003 by Dr. Philip F. Yuan (Professor, CAUP, Tongji University), Archi-Union Architects is a Shanghai-based architectural design firm which has a Grade A design qualification certified by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. It provides solutions to architectural problems through a combination of academic research and practice, specializing in architecture, urban planning and interior design. Archi-Union employs more than 60 people of all design and construction disciplines and has successfully completed more than 20 projects in the past decade.
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