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THE NATURE BOX architectural and schematic design for Collider Activity Center by 2SGNT

Climbing a city landmark Nature Breaths into the City

climbing the nature

climbing the city landmark

Seated within an urban environment, midst of a hustling town, the new Collider Activity Center will be recognized as a distinguished complex of nature-like spaces where varying activities and events will be held. The center will perform as a platform in resemblance of nature for thrill and adventure seekers who need and want to be able to find proper settings for their beloved activities near everyday lives. The building will become a new landmark within the urban context, as well as a public domain, gathering spaces, and activity lovers’ capital in the city. As specifically aimed to serve nature lovers and thrill seekers, the new Collider Activity Center will present a new typology as a public domain where strangers who share common interests are given good opportunities to meet together and build their communities. Instead of trying to create an artificial nature captured in a box, the design brings the original forms and conditions found in the nature as the major driving forces that rule over the new activity center. The very dynamic and energy discovered in the nature are to be further carried in and around the complex, so that the activity center will become an outstanding landmark that represents nature within a city.


surrounding neighborhood

threshold from urban to green

building orientation

ground floor isometric to show the relationship wtih the surroundings

residential commercial kindergarten

I. Near and Dear to the Visitors In order to be easily discovered and reached by the neighboring communities and visitors, the master plan brings the building to the very front of the site, facing the street. The building does not intend to block the passers-by in front and the urban park behind, but it rather kindly draws them into the building through the main entrance and lobby space and introduces its proud backyard beyond. The main entrance and welcoming lobby connecting front and back side of the building is designed to give a general idea of what the activity center provides and represents for the users, which further plays a key role to separate and / or bridge the multiple programmes inside the building .The public spaces on the ground floor are located closely to the entrance and parking spaces, favored with the full access to the glass house. II. The Shared Green The glass house is designed to be directly facing the South, which does not help the greenery growing inside the envelope but the layout is also to bring cooling effects for the spaces behind during warm seasons. As the green filtering layer stands vertically on the South, a number of programmes take advantages by being adjacent to the green spaces. Along the height of the building, indoor activity spaces are given varying views towards the green house. some more closely located than others. The green house and the mushroom boulder space on the ground floor may be adored afar, looked down upon, or enjoyed at the terrace on the upper floors.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN I. General Idea: Rectangular Coordinate System

a threshold

from hardscape to landscape

from dense to loose

Master plan for the activity center is based on a rectangular coordinate system which has the building at the very core. Each quadrant is given its own programme and spatial qualities that are distinguished from another, yet they show a constant and gradual change through certain axis. With the building at the center, South East area is designed to be rather compact and packed with artificial features to support the smaller programmes within and around the building, meanwhile North West side of the site is characterized with loose and natural landscape design. This change through the axis fully responds and supports the programmes that are situated in each quadrant. A. The North East side presents a summer park where swimming pools and sandy beach welcome the visitors. Located closed to the restaurant inside the building, swimming pool provides a lively theme and tone not only for the outdoor activities but also for the restaurant users. The sandy area stretches as long as from the parking lot to the volleyball court towards the North West. Cuddling the summer park area, the sandy surface marks the border of the site for the activity canter with a gentle rise in elevation. This first quadrant is also where outdoor stage is provided. Visitors will enter to the event area, directly drawn from the main entrance of the building via the welcoming lobby space inside the building. With the swimming pools and sandy mound as a back drop, the outdoor stage will serve for varying types and scales of summer activities including concerts, pool parties, or receptions. B. The North West side provides spaces for Boulder Park and bike trails. With the minimum level of density and complexity, the second quadrant represents the nature itself that welcomes those who love to be lost in their activities in their own pace. Mushroom boulders are loosely scattered through this area, which is embraced by undulating trails for bikers and runners that lead to further out of the site to the urban park. C. The South West side of the site, adjacent to the building at its West, is completely dedicated for Ropetopia. In a close relation to the high climbing wall built on the exterior wall of the building, the Ropetopia will be found as an outdoor space brought in to the building during certain seasons. The façade wall is specifically designed for the flexible connection between the two programmes in and outside of the building. D. The fourth quadrant is where the activity center, the glass house, kids’ playground and parking lot are located, where become the most functional and compressed area of the site. Entrances to winding trails for runners and bikers are found near the glass house, and a tip of sandy beach area can be seen at the corner of this zone.

landscape design integrated with the new building

II. Dialogue between Indoors and Outdoors Zoning for the outdoor area is fully influenced by the adjacent programme inside the building, so that there would be keen interaction and relation between inside and outside of the building. Furthermore as the season allows, the border between the inside and outside of the activity center will be blurred, which will provide an extended spaces for the adventurers to explore. Swimming pools are located next to the restaurant and green house, Ropetopia near the high climbing area, outdoor stage in between the pools and entrance. Instead of having to wonder around to find the aimed space, the visitors will easily discover related facilities within their sight. III. Surface Design Materials for the outdoor surface are thoroughly chosen to support the given function and programme on each area. Wooden deck flooring is provided for outdoor stage and sitting area, and sandy ground generously stretch from the swimming pool areas to the volleyball court. The North West zone for Boulder Park and running trails is designed with loose woody and grassy ground in order to accomplish a proper setting for the specific activities. Ropetopia is supported with artificial ground floor with certain level of elasticity and bounciness to protect the climbers. IV. Zoning along the Axis

view from urban park

The landscape is designed in a way to minimize the expected traffic between the users that will visit the activity site for different purposes and reasons throughout the season. Parents with kids will find their attractions near the parking lot, with the playground on one end and the Funtopia on the other. The most visited spaces by younger users will not interrupt or be interrupted by other programmes that are dedicated for the adults, and they are closely situated to the resting areas such as cafeteria and restaurant where the parents will find places to be. The outdoor stage and the event space is located at the direct backyard of the building, right outside the main lobby of the building. The visitors for concerts or private parties held in this area will enter to the building via the main entrance and pass the lobby, which provides the shortest access for the users as well as the security check and ticketing that canl be controlled inside the building.

BUILDING DESIGN SCHEME I. In Resemblance of Nature The building design has found its inspirations and motivations in the places that are sought by the adventure lovers and thrill seekers. Fragmented pieces of natural features such as cliffs, canyons, and valleys are brought into the building, recreated and re-presented. The picturesque scenes and images that can be found at a rocky side of mountain or at heaps of a canyon will be discovered in the activity center as closely as possible to its original forms in the wild nature.

building section design inspired by climbing rocks and canyons

II. One for All and All for One Each and every activity that will be held in the Collider Activity Center is adjoined to or separated with each other according to their characters and target groups, which in result will create a series of dynamic sceneries within the building between the volume modules dedicated to each programme. Activities that need a similar size of void spaces or high ceiling spaces are located close to each other so that they can not only share the space but also can simultaneously create compelling scenes that can be observed by users within and around the building. Climbing walls next to the office, Funtopia near to the cafe, and the Boulder hall adjacent to the restaurant.

CONCEPT for BUILDING DESIGN solid and void scheme for different characters of programme

I. Modularity and Simplicity As the Collider Activity Center aims to embrace and represent scenes that involve features and elements that are found in the nature, the building in composed with a constant size of modules that are separated and recombined according to the programmatic needs. Though the expenditure of energy and excitement during rock climbing, bouldering, and rappelling is such an amount that it may hardly be contained within a frame of manmade, the activity center boldly presents a system that can effectively support and control the compelling activities happening inside. Each module is in a form of cube with three point six meters, and they compose varying scales and dimensions of voids and solids in the building, yielding visual connections between the users wherever their standing points would be. II. As Active As It Gets This dynamic play between voids and solids achieved by the module system has its starting idea in the nature, rocky and bumpy surface of mountain valley. Indoor spaces will be given a number of exciting and views with disappearing gaps, extruding cubes, and winding holes. No two programmes are provided the same space, and not a single room is isolated from others. As progressive and active as the members who visit the building on a regular base and make it of their weekend home, the activity center continuously pursues to embrace the energy and speed that may be observed in and around the building.

section perspective


rooftop bar (RF)

restaurant (GF)

cafe (GF)

public programmes

I. Dedicated for the Public The new Collider Activity center provides a number of public facilities in a way to invite the communities into the building and also to introduce the varying programme to those who are not familiar with the activities. The building presents no clear separation or distinction between spaces for members only and those for all the public, which enables groups of visitors with different reasons for coming to the building to have unexpected chances to meet others. The climbers are to be observed by café goers, and a group of elementary school kids hanging out in Funtopia to be seen by green house visitors. The public and the members are to embrace physical and visual connections with each other while being occupied with their own activities. Most of the public facilities are located on the ground floor with easiest access given, and the rooftop bar can be reached via an elevator. A. Restaurant and Café The restaurant is composed with one open hall and a number of closed rooms on different levels. The ceiling height reaches as high as to the second floor, which enables dynamic scenes inside. Facing the outdoor stage and sandy area with swimming pools, the restaurant may open up and extend to the terrace seats where a summer park can be appreciated. The green house and boulder area also brings dynamic scenery into the restaurant as they are visually connected throughout all the levels. The Café on the ground floor can be dedicated to the party room for private or public events when needed. Although the café is given a generous volume with triple ceiling heights, each floor is separated from each other inwardly so that it can serve the users on each level rather effectively and flexibly. At all levels, activities inside the Funtopia can be well observed, and the green house may be closely seen.

urban park

green house

green spaces restaurant (top) green house (middle) roof top bar (bottom)

B. Green House The glass box with twenty meter ceiling height allows bamboo and banyan trees to grow fully to their maximum heights. The minimum number of vertical structure supports the green house, so that the Boulder area would be provided with spacious settings for the activity. The glass doors of 2.4 meter height can open all the way around the building. The floor pattern of the green house reflects the modularized building design, which resulted in composition of 3.6 meter by 3.6 meter squares which vary in materials. Wooden decks support seating areas, and grass patches serve the plants and trees. C. Rooftop Bar The roof top bar has three levels, each of which is presented with different settings, views and atmospheres. At the lowest level, the roof top visitors can look down to the high climbing hall as well as have a glimpse towards the outdoor terrace of spa. The middle level provides more spacious seating areas with wide open view towards the urban park behind the building. The mushroom boulder area and bike trails will be overlooked from the bar. At the highest level of the bar, visitors would be given a panoramic view around the site.

II. Members First

climbing area(GF)

The activity halls and rooms that are given specific programme for the registered members are located in the main body of the building, between vertical volumes of the office spaces on the West and the green house on the East. Though each space is designated with noticeable dedication of a set of modules, they are all rather very keenly related and closely connected to each other via ongoing visual connections and shared hallways. Between and around the programmes are winding hallways that accommodate communal spaces and resting areas to be shared by the members. In this way, there is a growing sense of encounter between members, and they are to actively exchange each other’s energy and information towards their beloved activities. One may come to a yoga class and becomes a friend with a climber. A fitness member may become interested in rock climbing and make herself a neophyte. The basement and the third floor serve as “servant” spaces, providing locker rooms and membership lounge for upper floor visitors. D. Climbing Halls Climbing halls are closely integrated with building forms. Making a full use of the dynamic interior wall surface along the floors, the climbing walls grow on the modular space to reach to the high ceiling. Gaps and hollows surrounded by climbing walls are in varying scales and forms, which all together build a compelling environment for rock climbers and boulder hall users.

climbing areas




multifunctional halls, spa, and fitness high climbing area (top) funtopia (middle) spa (bottom)

E. Funtopia The Funtopia is located up front at the building façade, reaching from the ground to the second floor with a ceiling height of 10 meters. Presenting the Funtopia as closest as possible to the kindergarten across the street, the Collider Activity Center shows a welcoming gesture towards the younger minds that may grow to future professional climbers. Kids exploring the climbing activities would be seen not only by the passers-by on the street, but also by the people who use the office and cafe, as the space is exposed all the way through its height. F. Multifunctional Halls Four Multifunctional halls located on the fourth floor vary in level of formality and flexibility. With movable walls and foldable seats, each room may adapt to changing needs of the user groups. Closely located to the fitness and spa, the multifunctional halls share visual connections to the surrounding spaces, which is best realized at the resting area looking down and over the high climbing hall. G. Fitness and Spa Fitness and spa are facing the Vitosha mountain, both sharing the hallways and resting areas with multifunctional halls. With the dramatic view of the mountain on one side and the indoor climbing hall view on the other, Fitness hall users are

surrounded by ever changing energetic scenes. The spa provides a sauna space with a view to the Vistosha mountain as well as its own private outdoor terrace where users will find suitable for sun bathing and resting. lounge(3F)


servant floors & community center

H. Community Center Aside the required programmes, there is community center on the third floor, where bubbles of class room whose walls are made of glass is surrounded by informal public area. When there are varying types of community gatherings or events, the class rooms can close with curtains behind the glass walls. The community center can and should complement the multifunctional halls in a sense that it provides a more informal environment for the members and the neighborhoods to find their favorite classes to participate and practice.

III. Office Tower office tower

office tower

rest room

meeting rooms & resting areas culture center (top) office lobby (middle) office meeting room (bottom)

The office tower stands at the North West side of the building, completely dedicated for the office users. Administrative department including human resource and public relations are situated on the lower floors with easier access from the public, and the rather compact work stations are located on the upper floors. The service areas such as pantry, toilets and printing rooms are built in at the core on each floor, and towards the climbing hall are meeting rooms and resting areas. As the employees are given good opportunities to observe climbers using their products up close at all time during their working hours, motivations and inspirations should be found everywhere.

STRUCTURE The structure system of the Collider Activity Center serves to create the open or closed spaces where varying activities will be held. The building is realized in a grid system of 7.2 meters and 10.8 meters, which supports the modularized spaces on each floor. The main building is constructed with reinforced concrete columns and bubble deck, which effectively distribute the uneven loads of the dynamic play of modules. Reinforced concrete walls used in core structures will further stabilize the irregular flow of loads from upper floors to the ground. In effort of avoiding the use of any types of bulky truss or mega structure, simple grid system that requires concrete columns and decks will effectually reduces the building cost and construction period. The green house is built with steel columns and beams, also in grid system of 7.2 meters, in order to achieve lightweight structure and high level of transparency.

building structure

FACADE The general idea for the faรงade design comes from playful layout of voids and solids as an extended expression of modularized spaces. Perforated metal panels cloths the building inside and outside of the envelope, which brings a strongly identified and monolithic appearance of the activity center. Visual connections are made possible as much as needed, meanwhile the transparency and solidness are thoroughly controlled. The grid system of 3.6 meter by 3.6 meter is applied for the faรงade design, and the panels vary in level of transparency and materials. Panels made with glass are broken into smaller grid of 1.2 meter by 1.2 meter. Perforated metal panels with a sheet of glass behind differ from most transparent to most opaque in a way to control the visual connection. Where the walls support to build surfaces for climbing activities, there are solid panels upon which additional equipments are to be built.

layer assembly options for facade modules


west elevation

openable facade

south elevation


recycle of natural resources

natural ventilation through atrium and green house

The Collider Activity Center supports sustainability from its urban design and master planning. With the rectangular coordinate system and selective use of land for artificial equipment to be mounted, the activity center minimized the work of construction over the site. Except for the areas near and around the building that shows rather compact and dense use of space, rest of the site merely requires construction or demolition. The faรงade made of double skin, layer of glass sheets and perforated metal panels, will effectively filter the day light and reduce the cooling cost. The perforated metal panels on the green house will become platform for ivy, which gradually grow to green faรงade. Branching atrium space at the center of the building will generate natural ventilation throughout the building, and the cooled air brought in from the green house will be outlet through the openings on the ceilings. The roof structure is embedded with three types of solar panels; solar parasols to generate electricity, thermal panels to heat the water for swimming pool. Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) is built above the roof of green house to generate and save the extra amount of electricity. The activity center will collect the rainwater to irrigate the green house, and the used water from the swimming pools will be recycled in service areas.

The Nature Box - Booklet  
The Nature Box - Booklet  

Collider Activity Center designed by 2SGNT