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Portfolio LiWenli

Li Wenli OBRA Architect, M.Arch Cornell University TelL 917-392-4608

Poetry Against Reality Portfolio Li Wenli

Work at OBRA Architect M.Arch From Cornell University

Raphael Sanzio <Madonna of the Meadow>

Part 1 Emotion Cover Painting: Paul Klee, Meditation (Self Portrait), 1919

01.Shadow House 2015 Studio / Individual


02.Wallbyrinth Theatre 201 Studio / Individual


03.Memory barbican 2014 Distinction Graduation Design / Individual


04.Ethological Meditation 2014 Competition Project/ Collaborate with Liu Shiyao


Part 2 Ration 05.Wall Garden 2013 Graduation Design / Individual 06.Transparent Poche 2013 Distinction Academic Design / Individual Part 3 Observation 05.City Complexity Research Series Research from 2012-2013 / Teacher Assistant

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Part 4 Other Work

06.Internship&Practice 08.Resume

111 111

01. Shadow House Cornell Option Studio/ 2015.09-12 Individual Work Tutor: Ramon Bosch, Bet Capdeferro

In Praise of Shadow A house is a sequence of shadow, From dark to light. Storage should be dark and secret, secret that quitely lying on shelves. Daydreaming from dark to light, Protected by the shadow. Eating should not be too bright, Wooden floor and roof, A gentle ceiling on top, give you domain of home. Reading and writing in the light, curtain make it gentle. The brightest room should be the kitchen, Sourrounded by delicate food, beautiful vegetation, One need light.

Absolute Dark 0

Storage 50lux

Daydream 300lux

Eating 450lux

Writing & Reading 1200lux

Kitchen 1400lux

Absolute Light +00

Began from a Mid-Summer Night, about a dream, about a carnival ...

02. Wallbyrinth Theatre Cornell Option Studio/ 2016.02-05 Individual Work Tutor: Val Warke


The Set-Piece reveal a possible love story between the actor and the audience how the meet and love and separate...


Set-Piece Stage Design


Site-Plan Wall-System

The wall is both the urban system, and the auditorium. Walk through the wall, and you walk through your dream.

02. Memory Barbican Graduation Design/ 2014.05-06 Individual Work Tutor: Peng Chang Xin Distinction Graduation Design

History Memory Urban


A space respond to memory, establishing the relationship between site memory and space. An architecture that represent time and strike a balance between relics and the city.

Ming Dynasty 1368-1644

Qing Dynasty 1644-1912

Urbanism 1912-1990

Modern 1990-2014

Future after 2014




Density Wall River

Qing Urbanism



Modern Future

Re-Build Memory

The city wall first built in the Ming Dynasty and the barbican had been used for trading during peaceful time.

Authority of the Qing Dynasty closed the city wall. Merchants traded on the river instead. And the river was extended during that time.

The city wall was demolished during the urbanism and replanning of infrastructure. The Barbican turned into urban slums.


Bungalow was removed for uvegetation. The connection between north and south was completely cut off. The whole barbican area was abandoned.

Lights These four impression sketches each shows a designed element in memory representing the site ---- the semantic meaning of the site.



The scheme aims to resolve a series of urban issues whilst preserve its historic fabric by proposing a Mega-structure, in which infrastructure and architecture are entwined as a dynamic whole.


The barbican used to be part of the city infrastructure system. And the new barbican provide a museum, docks, and two plazas to the city without tensing the density or disturbing the traffic. The whole design can be clarified as a super-scale infrastructure.


The site was once the east barbican of Guangzhou. And the relics are buried the underground level.


Two busy main road and one viaduct crisscross the site and cut the site into two half.

River and dock


River always play an important role in Guangzhou urban system. To re-active the river again, Old Docks on both side will be used as the entrances of the memorial relic museum.

A river along the site and was renovated lately. However, the river got no use for residents.


A giant landscape river strip was planned to go through the whole Guangzhou. The site is the knot of the strip.

City Relationship

Surrounded by a high density neighborhood and crossed by both busy road & viaduct, the structure should be a solution toward over-crowded. So the architecture sink down half way into the river, return the skyline back to the city ---- a submerged monument for the city memory.

River Side Elevation

Symmetry & Asymmetry: Step 0: Relics and Arcade

Dancing Plaza

Step 1: Symetry Operation

Rhyming Bridge

Cantonese Opera

Inserting the different activities, the monument itself grew out an organic form --- from complexity to diversity.

Step 2: Asymetry Operation

Sightseeing Boat

Relic Plaza

River Dock

Dock Bridge Stage Infrastructure

Arcade Plaza

Dragon Boat

Memory River Acvities

Finshing Shore

Aquatic Acvities: Guangzhou has taken advantages of the river since ancient time. To reactive the river and the connection between north and south, many infrastructure are brought back to ensure its hydrological performance. And many aquatic activities are back at the same time.

Wall Relics: The wall relics intersected with the busy traffic and buried down below ground. To reach the relics, the museum is excavated out of the site and sink to the river level. The memorial museum is designed for the neighborhood and the tourist. A linear structure was built to cover the relics, as to give both protection and spatial experiences. The framework creates sacred atmosphere.


City Ground Level

Relic Wall

River Level Dirt Basement

Beholding the Relics One side open to the city while the other to water. The project provide two different experiences when looking at the relics, also to protect the wall relics from water damage. River Level

Ground Level Relics Dirt

The Quiet Lights





The inner space symbolize time through two ways. First, the light is constantly changing, and the isolation of surplus light create a quiet atmosphere. Second, in the section drawing, different height represents different attitude and different history towards relics.




Architecture Section & Old Barbican Outline

04. Ethological Meditation Competition Project/ 2014.04-05 Tutor: Feng Jiang Collaborate with LiuShiYao

Program Behavior


Site A space for meditation behavior, exploring the relationship between spirit and space. An architecture with semantic meanings.


LIFE Strategy: From Behavior to Symbol 7:00 Bath



Meditation Behavior

9:00 Listening





Spatial Symbol West

10:00 Seeing


elimination of time

11:00 Talking 14:00 Working


Excerpt From LeCorbusier


Site Plan


Site Sketch


Nighttime Mountain

Inserted into the Mountain

Space of Daytime

Space of Nighttime

The Meditation Center is separated by the mountain. The eastern side represents the rising of the sun and will be used for group practices, while the western side represents the setting of the sun and will be used for individual muse. The daytime activity is based on time while the nighttime activity is based on elimination of time.


Eastern side of the Mountain: Space of Daytime

Step1: Insert



Listening Breaking

Elevation of Eastern side

Seeing Breaking

Ascending Up: Inserted into the natural cave, the space of live/daytime becomes a part of the mountain. Ascending up to the higher level corresponds to the notion of purification in religious cultivation.

Step2: Ascend Up

Talking Breaking

Step3: Excavate


Step4: Connect




Listening Breaking

Rhythm of Circulation: The circulation is a circle come from inner side of the cave and left along the edge of the mountain. A complete spatial experience. Among the circulation, the "breaking" inserted between the four main rooms means to create a rhythm of space. "Breaking" are small garden, representing the "nothingness" in the meditation, telling visitors to take a break and get ready for the next room.

Seeing Breaking

Circulating in the middle of the mountain, to feel both the edge and the cave.

Talking Breaking



Listening to Zen

Talking to Buddha

Seeing Yourself

Working in Garden

9:00 Listening

10:00 Seeing

Using the enclosed structure, the "listening" and "seeing" rooms create gentle light environment for people to focus on their own body. The "listening" room is designed for group lecture while the "seeing" room is designed for small group meditation.

11:00 Talking

14:00 Working

On the other hand, using open structure, the "talking" and "working" rooms provide a more equal light environment. The "talking" room is a Buddha hall, which is not only meant for disciple but also for the public. While the "working" rooms include both resting space and a small garden.

Western of the Mountain: Space of Nighttime The western side of the mountain will be used for individual exercises during the night. Small rooms are disciples' resting place, inserted into the mountain. A 24/7 lifespan of programs that is attuned to the cycle of the rising and setting sun.

Group Rooms

Step1: Isolate

Single Room

Step2: Abstract


Step3: Symbol

Elevation of West Side Space of Dead I Isolation

To isolate from the outside world, and to explor your heart.

II Abstract

Under the "tree" shape structure to imagine your body returning to nature, dissolving your ego.

III Symbol

To imagine the death and universe. A space with symbolic meaning.

IV Assemble

Step4 Different Assemble mode

Wall Typology Wall

Wall-Garden Wall-Operation

05. Wall Garden Competition Project/ 2013.07-08 Tutor: Ren Jun Individual Work Trying to discover the new possibility the "wall", through exploring its relationship between Space. Using wall as a formative element in a syntactic way.

Spatial Sequence (Poetry)

Wall & Space:

Walls will be used for redefining space instead of simply separating it. And the separate& un-separate changes altogether create the feelings of the Chinese garden ---- a spatial sequences guiding by the "wall" element.

Composition Poche


Spatial Sequence (Poetry)


06. Transparent Poche

Grade 4 Project/ 2013.03-06 Tutor: Li Xue, Gu Lin Qiang Distinction Design Award Individual Work

Create architecture through study the poche. Using both 2D&3D operation to generate space as a syntactic system.

Step1: Composition Study

Step2: Void Study PLOT 5: Visible vs. Invisible The void is invisible as material while visible as space PLOT 6: Void vs. Theatre The body balance between the void and theatre is carefully considered An abstract sculpture of open space PLOT 7: Interior vs. Exterior The interior is horizontal open while the exterior is vertical open The interior is ground while the exterior is figured




PLOT 8: Vertical vs. Horizontal The difference between vertical & horizontal was blurred by the voids ---- composed by a horizontal pattern but representing a vertical space


"U" Shape





Curve Character







PLOT 1: 2D vs. 3D The pattern(non-space) became the void(atrium) through overlapping. The voids turned into the un-change quantity of each floors, a reference. PLOT 2: Solid & Transparent The solid of the void represents the close character of atrium while the transparent floor represents the open character of the rooms. PLOT 3: Accessing Space vs. Public Space Since the building is lifted up to give back the ground to city, the void represent both accessing & atrium.

Plot 8

PLOT 4: Circulation vs. Fluid The circulation runs from the void and fluid to the floor.

To explore the basic composition of poche, use “U shape” and “Fillet” as typology, to generate different space through geometry operations. Meanwhile, learn the basic character and polarized limit of the curvespace. This study provide understanding about the poche as unit and group.

Shape Poche


Operation Character Space

Spatial Sequence

Reversing void & solid, using different plots to frame it. Turning the two-dimensional poche into a three-dimensional system. In the process of transformation, the building itself resolved several conflicts ---- a further declaration of the relationship between POCHE & SPACE.

Visible & Invisible Poche


Solid&Void Program Vertical & Horizontal

Spatial Sequence

Constructing Transparency

Spatial Poche


Spatial Sequence Material

By overlapping the poche, the inner space becomes complicated and organic, meanwhile opaque and fluid. A new transparency between the two types as Colin Rowe concluded. The architecture now are transparent in both spatial and material ways.

Auditorium Plan Using typology shape to assemble, the interior space presents ultimate continuity. However, the structure(post) system reduce the fluidity and emphasize the reverse of the poche ---from solid to void, from substance to space.

Floor Axonometric Take the wall as a continue object with two surfaces(red & blue), one can found the changing of the surface/color on both sides when following one specific wall. This diversification give the space both fluid and labyrinth character. And these two character strengthen the existing of the poche.

Poche Spatial Catalogue A series of spaces catalogue inside the building, now the â&#x20AC;&#x153;depthâ&#x20AC;? is created through the continuity of curved surface ---- the "poche" from horizontal view.


Part 4: Other Work Internships & Practices GMP Internship

Concrete Frame

Air Vent



Detail of Lights

Detail Design & Section Study Canteen of HuaWei BeiJing, BeiJing 2013.10-12

Curtain Wall Design (Tectonic Study) Tutor: Patrick Charles Cornell Elective Course 2015.09-12

Second Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Model Study Process

Inspired by Swing

China Architectural Design&Research Group CuiKai Studio Internship 2014.07-08 Construction Design & Section Study SamuelTing Museum , ShanDong

Inspired by Web

Am I cute?

Playground for Left-Behind Child Norway Collabroation Workshop Bergen School of Architecture, SCUT, GZU 2013.03: Dan.Dorocic, Alele, Llyod, Wenli The playground is designed for the left-behind child in the village. Building out of some discard material and using an abandoned laystalled site. It is such a pleasure when I saw the first kid running into the playground. This is the most meaningful design in my portfolio. I can never forget how happy the kids were, just a moment to forget their lonelyless. Architecture brings them happiness.

Ta-da! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the first one!

Climbing is fun!

Manifesto: Research From Object to Social Series Research: from 2015.03-now Collaborater Artist: Zhiqiang Xu Position: Individual Artist Exhibitioned in the 5+1=6 Project Exhibition Curator: Ai WeiWei, Cui Cancan Publicated in Series Occations Including Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture and PengPai Magzine

To understand the multiple human living condition and social reality, we researched different social object under different context, attempting to reveal the story of both the individual and the whole.

Part 3: Observation A

Begin with Object, end with System.

Project No1# Story of Scale in Bungalow.

Project No2# Story of Room in NersingHouse.

Project No3# Daily Scene in Nursing House.

Project No4# Object in Nursing House which adapted to the environment.

Manifesto: Research Towards a Super Complex City Series Research: from 2012.07-13.07 Tutor: Jordan A Kanter Position: T.A.( in charge of Processing Design, Diagram Drawing)

1# The design product in these series research is Systems. Systems that are representing our city. Begin with Object, end with System. 2# Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about architecture, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about a new way to observe the world. A new opportunity to learn about our city, to learn the un-discovered and abstract systems.

Part 3: Observation B Room

3# All the rules abstracted from the object are truly observed.

Grid System


Site Observation



Sound System


Net System


Web System


Ant System


Bubble System



4# All the input and logic law come from one specific object. Based on object oriented design. New Urban Breakthrough Point

5# All the objects selected are the most interesting aspect of the site. 6# All the system design used processing & java & Igeo as platform.

Project No1# Room as object, and Grid as system.

Project No2# Floor as object, and Grid as system. Choosing the Manhattan Central Park as the site, the second Grid System represents the possible building-density evolution of a neighbor block, through assuming the relationship between green area and building height limit.




Grid System represents the changing using position of the site, through researching about the developpattern of its past decades. The grid now represent a space with 4 dimensional attributes ---- Space & Using position. And each of the attributes interacting with each other.




X,Y Uncultivated Half-cultivated Cultivated Green


Rule1: The garden cultivated by the rooms surrounded. Rule2: The cultivated rooms tend to use the garden. Rule3: The uncultivated garden might be active into cultivated garden if enough community connection made. Rule4: The uncultivated rooms might be active if enough community connection made. Rule5: When more cultivated room gathered, they tend to stack up.

Height Limit Main Interacting

Height Secondary Interacting


Stacking Encroaching

Green Degree


Type Position(x,y)



The simulation of the bungalow revealed the possible develop tendency about the block. As we develop new rules such as building second floor, the process itself is developing, too.

This is another extension of the No1# project. We abstract the unit into single floor of the city. Trying to simulate the evolution of a tower city ---system can apply different way.


Generating Encroaching

Project No3# Sound as object, and Recorder as system.

Project No4# Window as object, and Net as system. Using GIS to locate all the position of the windows in the Hu tong area, we build out a possible net-work base on distance to represent the evolution of window material. Thousands of wood windows inside the Hutong are now being replaced by the new aluminum windows. An amazing gigantic and fast-changing structure hide behind this normal story.

Window Store






Position Mapping








A 3D-model representing the space of sound base on the Java recording system. Through the sound section, we found the special spaces without visual mark ---- The sound system turn design beyond our eyes possible.

Wood Window

Replace Aluminum Window

Project No7# Stall Street as object, and Bubble as system.

Project No8# Store as object, And Commercial as system.

Bubble A Position(x,y) Repell Stall Street A



Lines formula y=kx+n

Lines formula y=lx+m

Stall Street B




Stall Street A

Lines formula y=lx+m

Stall Street A

Type2 Type3(Secondary)


Lines formula y=kx+n

Attract Type3(Secondary)

Position(x2,y2) Bubble B The bubble system was designed to simulate the formation of stall streets. The Bubble and streets are similar in following aspects: 1, the stores can not intrude each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s space. 2, they tend to be part of the organize of the street. 3, they are random size while tend to be close to each other.

Single stall street

We designed a commercial system to reveal the relationship of different types of stores in the streets. Type 1(big mall, e.g.) tend to organize surroundings as center. While type 2 (restaurant, e,g.) tend to organize with other same type. And type 3(small shops, e.g.) will be attracted as a secondary units by type one & two.

Exisiting commercial simulation

Two stall streets

Two stall streets with angle

Stall street disappear when not enough room

Operation rules


07.2015- now 06.2009-07.2014

Cornell University Master of Architecture Guangzhou University Bachelor of Architecture


RESUME Li Wenli E-mail: Tel: 917-392-4608 Issuu: liwenli180 Mailing Address: 4H, 210 Lake St, Ithaca, NY, 14853 Current Work: OBRA Architect, NY


OBRA Architect, New York


GMP (Architeketen VonGerkan Marg and Partner ) Beijing Office Huawei Beijing Office Intern Architect / Detail Design, Digital Model Supervisor: Zheng Fei(Team Leader) / Fildel


Land-Based Rationalism (former Cui Kai Studio) SamuleTsing Museum Intern Architect / Construction Design, Detail Design Supervisor: GuanFei(Group Director)


Left&Right Studio Architectural Research Institute of Tianjin University Chou Ruchang Museum Competition Intern Architect / Chief Designer Tutor: RenJun(Professor of Tianjin University)


UED Magazine Publicized Interview with Eddie Wang(Founder of GLC), Song Gang (SCUT Professor) Special Editor Supervisor: Li Jialin(former UED Advanced Editor)


GAP Studio Rock Climbing Center, Competition Intern Architect / Diagram Supervisor: Raymond Lau(Former Design Leader in Zaha Beijing)



Venice Biennale Spanish Pavilion (Elective Course) Instructor: Inaqui Carnicero Study about the exhibition topic "Unfinished"


5+1 = 6 Individual Artist, collabrated with Xu ZhiQiang Exhibition Curator: Ai WeiWei, Cui Cancan Study Project inbetween the 5th and 6th Ring of Beijing


Beijing Design Week Dashilar Workshop Professor Assistant Dashilar Project Exhibition in Beijing Design Week 2013



(TA)Tianjin University Fluid-Space Studio Pos: Teacher Assistant / Processing Designer Academic Program, 40 Students Tutor: Jordan.A.Kanter / Sheng Qiang


Tsinghua University Parametric Design Workshop Processing & Maya based courses Tutor: David.J.Gerber / Jordan.A.Kanter / John.K.Kelvin


BAS, Norway-SCUT United Urban Design Workshop Poontong Village: Playground for Left behind Children

Other Language

Cantonese (Native), Mandarin(Native), English (Proficient)

Wenli 2016 Architecture  
Wenli 2016 Architecture