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Hengrong Ni

Rhode Island School of Design | March I AP 401 226 7314


hengr | hni01@r is 6 M ohaw k S t, A pt 2- 3 P r ovidence, Rhode I s land U nited S tates 401-226-7314


Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA | 2019Master of Architecture (2-Year)

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China | 2014-2019 Bachelor of Architecture, College of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany | Apr.2017-Sept.2017 One Semester Exchange Program in Architecture


Studio QI, Hangzhou | Feb.2017-Mar.2017 Solo Wandering· Six Harmony Hotel Renovation | Generated mapping and modeling for the site. Assisted team in developing design options using Sketchup. Songtsam· Ranwu Hotel | Produced the illustration for the project using Illustrator. Produced interior construction drawings using AutoCAD. Huangdong Design Co.Ltd, Chengdu | June.2018-Oct.2018 Xindu Xincheng No.1 Primary School | Participated in the design of conceptual proposal and development. Produced facade, masterplan drawings and renderings. Xindu Government Center | Communicating with engineers and workers at the construction site. Assisted then team in coordination works.


Computer Proficiency Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, Google Sketchup, Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, V-ray for Rhino, Cinema-4D Fabrication Proficiency Hand Crafting, Laser Cutting, 3D Printing, KUKA Robot Language Proficiency Mandarin, English, German


00 Compromise 01 Homebook 02 Underground Fable 03 Heart of Village __ Other Works

00 Compromise Public Library Design Providence, USA 2019 Grad Core Studio Individual Work

This project is an experiment of exploring the spatial expression of “Cooperators�, the space that is both coadjutant and compromised. Cooperating is a process of mixing different methodologies, advantages and preference, to achieve the common goal. Translated into spatial language, the two sections swept along two different paths and were combined into one integrity, a prototype of Cooperation.

Project 1 : Unfamiliar Figure "Architecture exists through its occupation. It’s meaning, affect, and significance come from and are derived by it’s humanity. " I chose "Cooperators" as my figure to design space for. Usually, the result of cooperating depens on how well they deal with compromises. While the process is integrated, each of the cooperators have their own preference and don't necessarily think or behave the same. In project 1, a prototype that demeonstrates "compromise" is created through an experiment of manipulating the form using Sweep 1 and Sweep 2 commands in Rhino.

Figure: The Cooperators

Project 2 : Transformation Through a series of operations the prototype starts to evolve from one to multiple. This process creates an alphabet for further development. Stack, rotate, array, mirror... The form starts to grow, to try to occupy larger space.

The prototype transforms as I change the sections, to create a metaphor of the most common form of cooperating: a family. A family is perhaps never the "perfect: form of an integraty: a box under triangle roof, like how a child would draw the house. It is deconstructed into two seperate sections and they sweeps along different paths. Then a site is give, a slope with an L wall. I experiment how the form can fit into the site in 3 different ways.

Project 3 : A Community Library

Iteration 1

In the first 2 projects the spatial outcomes and methodologies developed through the construct allowed me to carefully study ideas of spatial relationships, aggregation, site, and position as it relates to a figure. In project 3, the library serves as a space for collective gathering and individual contemplation. Some programmatic elements are defined and the form also reacts to the inner programs.

Iteration 2

First Iteration Section Model




Due to the complexity of the site, where there are 3 existing different axises, the prototype unit starts to rotate, merge and extend to fit into the siting. Heights are used to clarify the boundary of various functions, as well as to make the architecture become a part of the landscape.











Final Model

01 Homebook Housing Complex Design Shanghai, China 2018 Individual Work

Shanghai's Lujiazui CBD is crowded with skyscrappers. However, young workers mostly live in under-developed residential area around CBD. With the development of the Internet, the zeitgeist is sharing and socializing, but that residential area actually blocks residents from knowing each other, because of the bad quality of public space and homogeneous entrances of houses. This project, Homebook, proposes a new type of housing, which makes entrances semi-private space, where young people show their belongings and share their lifestyle, just like Facebook. That gives each unit identity, and thus helping neighbors know each other. To maximize that effect, a 3 in 1 module is proposed, which means 1 corridor in 3 floors. The module type shaprly increases people flow in the corridor, making it an inner street, a socilizing space.

Working in CBD, Living in Old Houses Laoshan No.2

While photos of Lujiazui CBD often represent how modern Shanghai is, most young workers actually live in rented houses or rooms in old residential buildings near it.


Those old houses were construted in 1980s for labors, and the design is out of date now. As shown in the mapping, the housing blocks have limited access to the street (red dot lines), and the public traffic space within the buildings (colored in red)is also very small and thus preventing neighbors from knowing each other.

Meiyuan No.3

Laoshan No.1

The Homebook intends to create a street-friendly and socilization-encouraging housing complex in old housing area.

Laoshan No.3



Meiyuan New


Rushan No.2

Rushan No.4

Rushan No.5 Dongyuan

Zhujiatan Dongnan

Existing Building: Corridor of Foreigness

Proposal: Entrance of Socialization

The existing residential buildings of the site, like many current urban residential buildings in China, are preventing residents from knowing each other. Standing in the corridor, you can ony see same-looking front doors and blank walls, and neighbors hardly have chance to meet each other, ler alone having conversations.

The proposal advocates conversations and interactions among neighbors, by making each entrance a semiprivate space, in another word, a showcase. "What you have defines who you are", and helping others to know you by your belongings is the first step of starting a conversation.

Existing Module: 1 Floor

Proposal Module: 3 Floor

Form Studies The form of the project is decided by 2 factors: aethestic standard and possibility of the corridor. The foam model experiment shows the process of extracting original form of the site and new possibilities of the proposal. The long, low and thin form is limited by the equality of modules. Oblique lines are introduced into the project to add liveliness to the site. The plastic model experiment shows the process of transforming the form of the foam experiment. The rythm of facade and roof mostly decide the aethestic of the design, while the internal space decides the possibility of the corridor. The zigzag massing is the final decision because of its roof's sense of order and also the possibility of public space on its corridors.


Foam Model: Mass Studies

Roof Overlapping

Possibility of Corridor

Plastic Model: Mass Studies

Corridor of Identity and Socialization The spatial organization is derived from Le Corbusier's UnitĂŠ d'Habitation. It introduces the light into the corridors and increase the height of them, making the tour more pleasant. The units are aligned with the corridor, just like how shops are aligned with the street. There's also space for chatting and other interaction on the other side of the corridor.

Module Elevation

Module Plan

Module Section

3 in 1 Module

Unit 4 : 3rd, 4th Floor

The module is consisted of 3 floors and only 1 corridor, concentrating all the entrance. Reducing the number of corridors significantly inccrease the flow of people in each corridor, thus augument the exposure of each house's diversified entrance. Considering the wide spread shared renting phenomenon of the site, each unit has 2 bedrooms, which keeps the original in-house communication of the old housing area. Unit 2 : 3rd Floor

Unit 1 : 2nd, 3rd Floor

2F Plan

Unit 3 : 2nd, 3rd Floor

3F Plan

4F Plan

Illustration: Going Home After one day's work, young workers in Lujiazui CBD can finally go home and relax. The warm light coming out of windows is suggesting food, friends and family. Shanghai never sleeps, but Homebook never gives you the same-looking doors or the cold walls. You can always make friends there.

02 Underground Fable Bathhouse Design Munich, Germany 2017 Individual Work

This project is an architectural response to the increasing risk of residents' mental health in Munich, Bavaria. Despite its low unemploment and high average income, Bavaria has the highest suicide rate of any German state, which is believed to be related to mental stress. Through experiments of light and form, this project intends to dramatically introduce the light into an underground bathhouse, combined with a subway station, creating a metaphoric space for a process of both physical cleaning and mental regeneration. This finite response enbodies both an architectural and an urban intent: by introducing other programs into public tranportation nodes, people are passively guided into certain process, instead of actively finding them on their own. In this way, public tranportation nodes ntegrate more into the city, instead of being an independent system.

Underground Architecture & The Bathhouse Subway stations are the most common underground architecture in Munich. However, the lack of natural light increases supressed anxiety in closed spaces, which worsens the high-depression situation that Munich encounters. Stiglmaierplatz

An Underground bathhouse is proposed. Bathing is good for human beings both physically and mentally. While the only public bathhouse in Munich, Müllersches Volksbad, isn't convenient to reach and lacks design for mental experience, the Underground Fable intends to use the natural light to counter depression.



Lehel Hauptbahnhof





Sendlinger Tor

Müllersches Volksbad

Fraunhoferstraße Geotheplatz

Light Experiment : Two-Direction Roof Subway stations are the most common underground architecture in Munich. Connected by subway lines, like floors connected by elevators, they make up an intergrated architecture. However, the lack of natural light increases supressed anxiety in closed spaces, which worsens the highdepression situation that Munich encounters.

Proposal: Natrual Light into the Bathhouse An Underground bathhouse is proposed. Bathing is good for human beings both physically and mentally. While the only public bathhouse in Munich, MĂźllersches Volksbad, isn't convenient to reach and lacks design for mental experience, the Underground Fable intends to use the natural light to cpunter depression.

Straight Roof: Light from the Front

Straight Roof: Light from the Back

Curve Roof: Light from the Front

Curve Roof: Light from the Back

The proposal utilises an obscure way of bringing the light down the udnerground bathhouse. The amount and quality of light vary with the time, in the mean time, the observer also feel the light differently from different direction of the bathhouse.

Form Development


To introduce the sunlight to the bathhouse,the roof are divided equally into pieces. Then each piece are rotated in a series of angles, so that they only let the sunlight during certain time.


30° Entrance 0°













Changing Rooms




Changing Rooms

Barber Shop

Warm Pools & Sauna

50m Swimming Lanes

Cafe & Dinning

-1F Plan 1:500

Into the Environment

Interior Render

Located in southern Marienhof-Kurt-Eisner-Platz, the bathhouse faces a large grassland.

Due to the small angle of the roof, the sunlight can only penetrate in the bathhouse before dawn. just when people finish one day's work and take the subway home.

As the bathhouse is underground, it doesn't completely block the view of Rathaus from people relaxing on the grassland. Putting the entrances in the middle, instead of at both ends, makes the bathhouse more integrated into the surroundings.

With that scene, it's just hard to resist the idea to get both physically and mentally relaxed and refreshed before going home.

A-A Section 1:500

An Underground Bathhouse The subway station and the bathhouse shares same entracnes, which brings more people to enjoy the bathing process. The roof casts beautiful shadows on the bathhouse, making the underground bathing experience a both physical and mental regeneration.

A Subway Station Facing a big public park, the subway station fits nicely between the gallery and the grassland, replacing the former subway entrance and grassland. The lower roof at both ends allows people who come to the park to have a clear view of the grassland. By combining the subway station and the bathhouse, this project explore more possibility of public tranport nodes' urban meaning.

03 HEART OF VILLAGE Cultural Museum Design Hangzhou, China 2018 Individual Work

As Hangzhou city expands, many villages were removed and villagers move to "village-in-the-city", which is mechanically designed and villagers' original lifestyle wasn't respected. What's worse, people live in extremely small rooms and there's hardly any public space in each "village-in-the-city" for them. To give life to the mechanical grids of the site, several hidden lines are extracted according to the key points of the site. The museum massings are arranged according to the lines. To revise the original lifestyle, the public space is divided into two parts: a sunken square and an upper park. While the upper park is for daily leasure, the sunken square is for gathering and activities. Thus, the museum is not only for cultural relics, but also for the residents who live in tiny rooms to have a place to play.

Village-in-the-City With the development of the city, many villages-in-the-city were removed or rebuilt. The mapping shows the current situation of villages-in-the-city in Hangzhou. After a campaign to improve those villages-in-the-city, there're still 6 of them remaining in the western Hangzhou area (red dot circle). The site is located in Yile New Village, one of the few rebuilt ones. 益乐新村

Being rebuilt doesn't mean the change of grid or more public space. Those villages-in-the-city are still very crowded and have hardly any public space for residents.

益乐南村 骆家庄村

Improved 骆家庄东村

Rebuilt Removed



Lack of Public Space Most residents of Yile New Village are renters with low income. Rooms are extremely small, consisting of one bedroom and one toilet. Those small cells don't have good privacy, so residents usually close the doors and curtains and stay in the cells. Although electronic bikes are the most common means of transportation, there's no garage for them, so they are parked in the alleys, which worsen the living condition. Therefore, residents desperately need public space of good quality to save them from depressed life in small cells.


Exposed Private Space

Form Development After site analysis, the museum program was put into the site, and several key points were extracted. By connecting the key points, the lines formed another layer of the site, adjusting the master plan. Then, by extruding the geometry, a museum of 6 parts and a sunken public square were made. According to the law of projecting, the roof of the museum was rotated, leaning toward the main entrance.

Process Model : Extruding



Plaza Entrance Render

Master Plan 1:1500

A-A Section

Program: Museum The exhibition halls of museum are arranged into 3 floors, with both main entrance and exit on the -1F. The Cafe is on the northeastern corner, which is close to the main entrance of the Yile New Village. The office is on the northwestern corner, so that the flow of workers doesn't conflict with the flow of visitors.


2F -1F Plan Cafe





Museum Program Diagram

2F Plan

Illustration: Museum for Villagers While most museum are designed for students and tourists, this museum in Yile New Village serves more as an activity center for villagers. Traditional festivals can be celebrated, public movies can be played, and renters can have a place to play with their children, instead of being locked in tiny rooms.

Other Works Render: "Spiraling Up", Residential Complex Design, Group Work

Robotic Fabrication, Group Work

Model: Public Auditorium Design, Individual Work

Render: "Immortal", Museum of Death Design, Individual Work

Render: "Immortal", Museum of Death Design, Individual Work

Render: "Immortal", Museum of Death Design, Individual Work

Model: Innovation Center Design, Individual Work

Axon: Shopping Mall Design, Group Work

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Architecture Portfolio | Hengrong | 2020 Winter  

Architecture Portfolio | Hengrong | 2020 Winter  

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