The Skin of Air
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2014
Body architecture is a very up-to-date and quite hot topic among designers nowadays. The discovery of new material and new construction technique which could demonstrate the definition of new skin to body is proceeding.
For those who are crossing different professional areas, body, as the common spacial language, is the essence of all the ideas come up in design. Only if we really concern about us human beings, we can see what we should do to our next life then. Body is a space that being described by wraps of skins, such as fabric or construction. The way we make our body communicate with space reflects how we get to understand living. What I am trying to do is to push the boundary of the skins in different scales, hardness and intelligent systems to fit into different characters of forms and let the materials speak themselves.
In the future, people will break the walls between architecture and other design areas, and we will begin to view the human body and behaviour as a basic interface, with design encompassing a new visual and haptic relationship between us and the sensitive-reactive environment. For instance, a piece of cloth or accessory could even become a part of architecture, but only if they show different perspectives on the functional dimension that lay beyond their basic attribute.
Architects are the ones developing the communication between people and social environment by spacial language. The target now is how to make this relationship closer, and it is all about new technology and futuristic vision.
The Skin of Air
'Airports are amongst the most stressful places as passengers have little or no control over their travel experience', a report by the British Psychological society reveals. Delayed flights, schedule disruption, going through strict security, over-crowded terminals, lost belongings and finding departure gates make air travel as distressing as moving home. One in ten individuals chooses not to travel by air as a result of off-putting airport experience. Therefore, bringing the brand-new air-travel experience is the inevitable choice in the future.
The long debate about increasing airport capacity in the UK entered a new phase last year. Heathrow operates at 98 per cent of its capacity within a current limit of 480,000 flights per year, much closer to capacity than other major London airports and rival hubs in Europe. In terms of the too busy running of Heathrow, London Mayor Boris Johnson proposed the plan of building a massive £47.3 bn six-runway Thames Estuary 'Boris Island'. Many Londoners want to fly but how to change London airports – be it installing a new runway or building a whole new airport to the east of London – could have significant implications.
Taking a view of all the airports in London, LCY itself is located in the very fine position in the city that provides very high quality and efficient services as mainly in business use. However, the limited land use restricts the further development of the airport and the commerce of the region. Expanding LCY to take a fully advantage of the site could contribute to the trade growth of east London and help share the loads of other airports. Longer runway provides for more flights that will increase point-to-point airport capacity. Meanwhile, extending commercial area and bringing in new terminal experience would not only appeal to more passengers but also create more jobs.
In this project, the extended runway is lifted up to open more efficient land space for using other than separating the previous Royal Albert Dock by water. The new airport terminal is set under the runway in the form of aircraft carrier. Instead of keeping the negative feelings of remoteness, isolation and confinement that most airport terminal buildings convey towards passengers, the new LCY terminal is going to have interactive infrastructures which communicate with the movement of the airplanes above the runway and green spaces to improve airport experience. These actions encompass a new haptic relationship between the air-movement and a sensitive-reactive environment. The internal artificial garden reveals the outer dynamic air scenario. Furthermore, across the terminal itself, the off-terminal leisure and commercial centre, offices, business hotel and restaurants make the airport more complex to local residents. It will be a new land mark for celebrating flying in London.
- BArch Architecture, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, 2012; MA Architecture, Royal College of Art, 2014
- 3D Designer, Studio XO, London, 2013; Internship, Iris van Herpen, Amsterdam, 2013; Senior Designer, Zaha Hadid Design, 2014-present