SELECTED WORKS WU BEIJIANG 2012-2017
He who builds the wall controls the past. He who builds the wall controls the present. He who builds the wall controls the future. Wall is peace. Wall is slavery. Wall is strenth. Cover: IdeologicalWall inVladivostok, 2017 Back cover: Palace of Soviet with Khrushchevka Apartment, 2017
When Leningrad became Manhattan, 2009, Watercolor PROLOGUE This is the painting I drew in 2009, When Leningrad became Manhattan, before being educated in architecture. It is about an ideal of what architecture should be. I enjoyed myself when I was painting that, as I enjoyed to create the ideal world in my mind, from the one that small as my home to the ones that big as a city. I was born in Peking (Beijing), the city where the emperor used to live, is now expanding brutally day by day. I could clearly remember the first time I felt the weight of bricks when I was ten. It is difficult for me to move two bricks once. Millions of bricks were used to build hundreds of buildings, prospering the city rapidly. Finally, I realized the true meaning of modernity, a notion from the human mind, which is adoring the consistency and progress and negating the conservativeness. I felt the oppression from modernity during architectural education. Therefore, I am dedicated to building my own identity and freedom is what I am always pursuing, and it is also the theme of the first part of my portfolio: Building a townhouse at the boundary between a campus enclosed with a utopian concept and an expanding city. This is an ideal home that of the dwellers own, and it is also a shelter, a building about myself. The second part is about a hostel and the partial renovation of a Catholic chapel at the east coast of Taiwan. It was the first time that I touched the depth of belief and soul and its relation with architecture. As the old Chinese saying goes: Respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, is called wisdom. Nevertheless, the native Taiwanese culture keeps a significant bond with Catholicism. The missionaries headed to an unfamiliar island 60 years ago through thick and thin, are now old, and the village has been gradually decaying. It is an important question that what the attitude to the culture and the belief should be, so is the architecture. The theory of Ideal and ideology is usually related to politics. The entities of architectures, as ideal models of politics and the society, inevitably become an alternative kind of ideological apparatus. In the third part, I looked back on my hometown, a historical capital of 6 dynasties, and has been experiencing a crazy period of modernization. The modernization of Peking has a strong bond with the Soviet regime and its unique ideology which aimed to create a brave new world of socialism, regardless of the destruction of heritage and death of innocent people. Nevertheless, with the Revolution in 1989, the ideology of socialism collapsed, becoming a condemned utopia that would never come true. With yearning of some people and reflection of others, I realized the city as the miniature of ideology in history. The third project is to renovate a typical Stalinist tower in Peking to state the fate of this social experiment. When Leningrad, the revolutionary city, became Manhattan, it had recorded the history of ideology and architecture.
WU BEIJIANG Email: email@example.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/MiliutinVSR Instagram: NORTHRIVERWU
2017 summer internship at Chi Ti-nan Architect
Part I Townhouse Dormitory For Students
Part II Accomodation And Courtyard For A Chapel
Part III Renovation Of Soviet Architecture For The Belief
How Deep the Utopia Where We Live A Townhouse, A Dormitory, A Home
Townhouses in cities in Taiwan The dorms in Tunghai University
The campus of Tunghai University desined by Chen Chi-Kwan and I. M. Pei
When the university was founded in 1955, the central mountain could be seen from the campus. 4
The individual tends to be oppressed by the collectivity, especially under the grand narratives of architectural designing. Tunghai University, founded in 1955, was located on the suburb hill of Taichung city. American missionaries commissioned the best Chinese architects, Chen ChiKwan( 陳 其 寬 ), who was born in Peking and I. M. Pei ( 貝 聿 銘 ) who grew up in Shanghai to design the Christian university. For several decades, students have been living in the enclosed campus which was illuminated from the concept of monastery, for the purpose of devotion and collectivism. The religion has become a kind of constraining, while the original concept of the campus designing was the freedom of thoughts. Just like the banyan tree growing and blocking the view from the campus to the central mountain, the campus encloses students in a ‘secluded prison’, as same as the utopia where they live. With the city growing, more and more students choose to rent a room in the urban area around the campus. I was torn between the indifferent city and the wishful school, to find a home, a place of dweller between religious ideals and the reality of city life.
At the boundary of reality of the city life and the utopian campus 5
Students will leave the campus and go to the city. When I was a freshman, I wanted to break through the boundary. The city light symbolizes the modern independent life that I was always pursuing.
After the age of ardor, senior students who want to keep away from the hustle can live in a roomon the opposite direction, toward the campus, with the silent atmosphere. Pulic pavilion for tea time
The townhouse which is built on the boundary between the city and the campus is as same as other townhouses in Taiwan. It can either be a single house or be a line of street houses. It is the typology of the townhouse. In the two walls and arcade, a variety of dwellers can be settled. The townhouse gives the opportunity of a home, and my home is who I am.
The plan of units of the townhouse
1/200 (3-5 floors)
The plan of public part of the townhouse
1/200 (second floor)
1/300 (first floor)
AA' section 1/100 Left to the city, Right to the grassland in campus
Skylight Construction -structure silica gel -stainless steel waterproof cover -stainless steel water collection -water proofing -glass fiber 2mm -screen -roof decking 50mm -stainless steel board 10mm
Wall Construction -stainless steel board 10mm -glulam planks 30mm -expanded polystyrene 80mm -decking 50mm -screen -water proofing 2mm
Stair Construction -flat stainless steel 10mm -steel T bin 150mm -spacer 2mm -stainless steel board 10mm -marble tread 30mm
BB' section 1/60
In the Village, Between the Ocean And the Mountain
The site is located in the village on the east coast of Taiwan which is developed from a native Taiwanese tribe. 60 years ago, Swiss missionaries from Missionsgesellschaft Bethlehem brought the modern technology from Europe along with the religion of Catholicism. The chapel built in the early ages of modern architecture in East Asia still stands while the missionaries are old, and the village is declining gradually. The chapel in the Siao Ma village is a spiritual symbol for the villagers and tourists. It can provide a hostel for cyclists from metropolis area on the west coast and a community center for local villagers. The new building can also be perceived as a container where the local people can meet the tourists.
Ground floor plan 1/400
AA' section 1/400
BB' section 1/400
East elevation 1/400 12
The villagers are the Native Taiwanese who believe in the Catholic Christianity. They are fishermen, farmers and orchardists. The chapel contains different activities in the village.
Second floor plan
Left: up, from the courtyard to the confession. down, the north side from the site. Right: up/medium, the corridors to the confession. down, inside of the classroom
The chapel is connected with the additional part by a concrete cloister. The entrance to the clock tower is divided from the main courtyard on the back by the chapel. And therefore, it creates two kinds of the atmosphere on the site. The cloister connects the religion and the community, the divine and the mundane. The confession room and the prayer room are on the most silent part of the cloister, with a smaller yard, as a place of the soul between the mountain and the ocean.
Blood River, 2017 The color of red is the color of blood, ardor, violence, and revolution. There has never been an age like the 20th century, such an attractive whereas terrifying. The modernity brought the world stage into the terror that people can never get back. In the third part, the belief and the history are revealing the reality of ideology. This is my bachelor thesis project, a conclusion and a new beginning about what I have thought for several years.
Brave [Spectre] of New World The Mourning and Redemption of Messiah
“People who lived on a small alley were in the life that had not changed for 1000 years.” That is what the life in Peking was described by Lin Yutang ( 林 語 堂 ) in the 1920s. The scene that had been kept in Peking for 1000 years has finally changed since the 1950s. After a huge project of urban renewal, the Hutongs (small alley) are broadened to streets for the military parades. The city wall was demolished to be the site of new ring roads. All of this was similar to the great renewal of Moscow in 1930s. The experts from the Soviet Union prevailed in the debate with Liang Sicheng ( 梁思成 ) and Chen Zhanxiang( 陳 占 祥 ) about city planning of Peking which was later in the process of extreme modernization, from the historic royal city of 6 dynasties to the great industrialized capital of communist China. The ideology of communism makes all above happened. The modification project of socialism followed the lead of the Soviet Union, which was the exemplary country as a 'socialist big brother'. Peking Exhibition Center, what my project aims to renovate, was the pavilion to exhibit the Soviet socialist prosperity. It was built in 1954, out of the gate Xizhimen, as a Stalinist tower. ‘A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.’ Manifesto of Communism, Karl Marx The Peking Exhibition Center was essentially a model that hypostatized the spectre of the Manifesto of Communism. In the other word, it defines what the communist society looks like. The Exhibition Center was the first modernized building out of the city wall, with a 104 meters high tower and a red star on the top. On the gate Xizhimen, the newly built white tower could easily be seen. The Exhibition Center was the declaration to the old town of Peking. The newly built district after 1949 would be like the Babel Tower in the Holy Bible, consistent and ordered. It corresponds to the ideology of communism, transcending the languages, building the paradise on the earth.
Peking Exhibition Center
The Soviet Radiant City
The fifth ringroad, containing the districts developed in 2000s. The fourth ringroad, built in 1990s. The third ringroad, boundary of city during 1960s to 1980s. The second ringroad, used to be the citywall surounding the district before 1949. The Forbidden City, the Palace where the Emperor lived in.
Manifestos during the work This is a process of understanding and creation, with some criticism of the text. The purpose of manifestos is to understand the context of thoughts and to consider the strategies. Some parts of the art history are re-interpreted, especially the parts about communist revolution, the radicalism, the instability of the early time of the revolution, the socialist realism of the Stalinist era, and the absurdity of postwar. The history of Peking Exhibition Center and the city of Peking can be compared with the history of the communism, being shaped as an ideological model, and then becoming absurd after the decline of the ideology. The tower of Peking Exhibition Center could be perceived as the Babel Tower, as same as the Monument Tower of the Third International (Vladimir Tatlin) and the Palace of Soviet (Boris Iofan). Human beings believe that history has been progressing, but when modernity transcends human nature, it becomes terrifying. People launched a social experiment to implement the Brave New World, the constructivist projects, the Stalinist palaces, and the panel buildings. Finally, it collapsed, proving the failure of the utopian projects, mourning for the victims, mourning for the collapsing Babel Tower, and the tragedies of the human being. The proposal is comprised of a chapel and a road to the redemption. With some renovations of the Exhibition Center, the west part has been kept while the central and the east part are converted. The area of the water which is a part of the old moat extension has been enlarged for the new monument. After the Soviet-Sino split, the Exhibition Center had lost the original purpose for many years, and the east part of the building was out of use. And thus, the renovation project breaks the symmetric form.
The tower of mourning is built on the Red wall that separates the exhibition pavilion and the road of redemption. The wall blocks the front elevation as same as the Berlin Wall blocks the Unter den Linden. Only the black ball and the Soviet Tower can be seen in front of the pavilion.
Plan of the underground part of the road of Redemption with confession rooms 1/1500
Ground floor plan and second floor plan of the industrial pavilion (The fake church) 1/1500
Central north-south axis section
Central east-west axis section
The road to the redemption starts from the underground part, extending to the underground of the west part of the building in which there are three separated confession rooms. Between the red tall wall and the building, at the original main entrance hall of the Exhibition Center, a huge red star is glowing. The red star that used to be at top of the tower, like a lighthouse in the city, is very harsh inside the hall. This is the first glimpse on the sin of the ideology, an intuitive understanding.
Section of Eternal flame monument
Section of the tower of Mourning Plans of floors 1/400
The mourning tower is above the underground tunnel connecting the monument of victims and the confession rooms, as a ball embedded in the red wall. Viewing the south elevation, everything else is blocked by the red wall except a Stalinist tower with delicate decoration and a black concrete ball. It is a kind of absurdity, as same as the Berlin Wall. There are some windows on the surface of the ball, in which people can look to the different directions of the demolished old town and the newly built skyscrapers. The victims of the communism are remembered by the memorial on the water. The memorial is in a hole amid the water with an eternal flame which is a symbol of scars. This flame can also be perceived as the memory hole at the center of the ministry of truth in the novel 1984. After all, in this ideology, the most wounded was the memory of human being. A small chapel is at the end of the road. Its outer walls, as same as the red walls, lower into the water. It is a symbol of human obedience to nature and obedience to the God. The end of the road, the redemption, is Jesus Christ. Marxism eliminates God and then worship science, creating a linear prophecy that is like the Holy Bible but without God's salvation. A comparison between the attitude of Christianity, obedience to the God, and the will of the human, the tower, is the feature of this project.
Plan of the Church
Section of the Church
The red walls block the facade, separate the exhibition area and the memorial, lowers into water at the end of the road to redemption. The wall beside the monument is silent with the water. On the other side of the wall, is the industrial hall, the hall located on the center of the building, could be perceived as a fake church under the worship of the scientific socialism. A round water pool is at the end of the hall, which could mirror the form of arch, the structure of the hall. The form becomes an entire circle, symbolizing the ideology, nevertheless interrupted by the red wall. The ideology of communism has failed in the fake church, comparing with the real chapel on the water. At the end of the red wall, there is a tree on the water. The road to redemption is toward the northwest, the direction of the former socialist big brother.
The Babel Tower, The Monument of III Internationalism, The Palace of Soviet, and the New Harmony
Published on Mar 7, 2018