ICE CUBES

Mathieu Forest Architecte en tant que Architectes.

The Xinxiang Cultural Tourism Center is the architectural icon of the new tourism district, which will be dedicated to winter sports, including the presence of the future indoor ski slope.

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

The entire district, with its exceptional facilities and shops, will attract many visitors from the city and the surrounding regions.
The ambition of the project is to create a strong urban indicator that unites the whole district. The project does not look like a classic building – it is not possible to figure out the number of floors. It is a sculpture out of scale, a pure and monumental volume.

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

SIMPLICITY / COMPLEXITY 
There are nine ice cubes superposed and offset from each other, representing the general theme of the leisure district. 
This simple appearance becomes subtle and complex as one approaches - The texture of the glass facades is composed of a multitude of tangled translucent ice crystals that filter the light and the vision from the interior. It is a question of hiding - whilst showing - to provoke mystery and the desire to approach.
The ice crystals capture the light and give it back. The building thus seems to emit the light it receives like a mass of inhabited ice.

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

FRAGILITY / SOLIDITY
This massive appearance is made exclusively of printed glass and steel. No supporting structure is visible. The glass panels of the facades are suspended by stainless steel cables and minimal steel connections. From close, it is a lace. 

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

INSTANT / ETERNITY 
The building is representing an architecture in the form of light. The facades capture the light of the sky, which varies according to the time of day, the season and the weather. Sometimes bright white, under the sun; the building becomes vaporous by cloudy weather, frosted even under certain lights, it reflects the sun and the clouds which become visible on the texture of frost. The building continually changes its appearance with time. 

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

KINETIC
It is a sculpture conceived according to each angle of discovery. An assembly of superposed cubes, each one of about 17 metersin height, it is never perceived in the same way depending on where the visitor is standing. 
From the commercial street to the west, the upper cube shifts to the side, cantilevering 34m above the ground to mark the end of the perspective. From the south, the composition is more balanced, to face the calmness of the lake. 
From the north, which is the main pedestrian access, the cubes come closer together to form a 34-meter vertical gap that invites the visitor to enter inside.
The upper cube, more transparent, is a transparent crystal and houses a place of contemplation and relaxation, suspended in the sky.

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

A LIGHTHOUSE 
By day and by night, it is a lighthouse that rises above the surrounding buildings. It‘s light attracts visitors and creates a landmark for the entire neighborhood. 
At night, the facades are fully illuminated and light up the surroundings. The building radiates a uniform glow that irresistibly catches the eye and prevents a direct view of the interior life.
At the top, the Sky Lounge allows to observe the landscape in 360 degrees.

photo_credit ArchExist
ArchExist

PRESENCE OF WATER 
It is also the continuity of the presence of water and the lake, on which the building seems to float. A metaphoric work of ice cubes transformed to a liquid state creates a pleasant and serene environment.

 

Teams:
Design firm: Zone of Utopia and Mathieu Fores Architecte
Design leaders: Qiang Zou and Mathieu Forest

Caption
Caption

Xinxiang Cultural Tourism Center

PRO.L en tant que Concepteurs.

Xinxiang, known as Muye in ancient times, is one of the important cities in the Central Plains, facing Zhengzhou across the river. Besides, the 11th Cultural Tourism City built by Sunac Cultural Tourism Group in China is located here.The huge-scale building sets like ice cubes on the water and consists of three large clusters of 9 small cubes. All of the lights here are designed by PROL, who further extends the design concept of exploring the hidden value of light to work out the urban artistic landmarks in the Central Plains, namely the winter wonders.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

The inspiration of the Frozen

With the extreme use of light and shadow, PROL actively thinks about the arrangement and combination of various lights, so that the designer breaks through the inherent form of isolated ice box during the day, and magically turns the "big ice block" at night into a romantic fairy tale, showing the diverse styles and infinite possibilities of architecture.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

The lighting design is based on the intuitive feelings of the building and its relationship with the building, through the reconstruction of the two concepts of ice and snow, so as to achieve the effect of highlighting the shape of large ice cubes with the lighting. The lighting is set to 3-5 times the overall brightness of the surroundings, gradually raising and converging from bottom to top. Combined with the interesting association of Frozen, PROL breaks through the traditional cold white color of ice and snow, allowing to radiate more colorful lights to convey the romance, exquisiteness and joy of the ice and snow world.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

The alienation and closeness of urban architecture
The façade of the building adopts digital printing glass, which distributes color on white ice cubes during the day, making the building look cool and stylish. Among the huge cubes, the translucent ice crystal glass façade has a hidden visual effect that effectively filters light and interior structure. At night, the light turns the daytime cold ice cubes into a fantasy wonder fairy tales. The visual atmosphere created by the light brings endless sense of surprise and desire to explore.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

Taking into account the placement of the lighting fixtures and the maintenance path of the building's curtain wall, the designer tried his best to show all the details the lighting could provide, and finally used the form of internal lighting to highlight the frosted glaze on the digital printed glass. In addition, the designer restored the overall texture and transparency of each Ice Cube by using layer-by-layer lighting, showing the coordination and balance between appearance and formlessness, interior and exterior. Given the effect of light transmission at night on the facade, the designer deconstructed various patterns of frost condensation and external visual focal points from different angles. Experienced designer has designed a large ice cube with uniform and smooth lighting effects that are balanced inside and outside after repeated experiments.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

The designer cleverly applied specific lighting colors to match the theme of Frozen. Not only did he choose the blue and white tones that are inherent to the impression of ice and snow, but also captured the blue and purple tones reflected from the ice flowers. Dreamy and sweet colors flow slowly on the cubes, reflecting each other, which to some extent highlights the theme of the founding of happy cultural tourism city.

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

During the lighting adjustment, are many children playing in the square, who are attracted by the lights and stop to ask curiously if this is Princess Aisha's castle. The designer suddenly discovered that the hidden value of light not only has intuitive visual beauty, but also brings people an initial sense of touch and joy that has no boundaries or ages. Let go of the rational design language, the glorious big ice block in children's eyes is more like the ice castle raised from the ground by Princess Aisha's magical wave. It is also the pursuit and thinking of adults for nature, joy, and fairy tales?

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography

The clouds are scattered, the beautiful landscape. The ice is melting, with the water is sparkling. The large ice block with great tension has become a new artistic landmark of the city, standing quietly on the north bank of the Yellow River, bringing the beauty of freezing in the extreme cold climate to the Central Plains. The PROL with the magic of light and shadow, inspires the vitality and dream of the big ice building style which is different from the daytime, and awakens the romance and touch of the fairy tale inside each one of us.

Team:
Chief Lighting Designers: Li Hui , Fu Li
Architectural Design Firm: Zone Of Utopia/Qiang ZOU + Mathieu Forest architecte
Interior Design: WUZ Design

photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography
photo_credit TOPIA Commercial Photography
TOPIA Commercial Photography
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