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Ziyang Xu B.Arch, Tianjin University, China

“Form is self-customized, mechanism comes first� What I desire to explore is the inertial contact between "The Inherence of Structure" and "The Externality of Space and Form". The possibility of formal generation will be stimulated by the way of expressing and performing. I aim to find the gradual change in the design with the context of abrupt change, and the poetic rhetoric between utility and decoration.



Lithe Traditional Handmade Kite Studio 02

Courtyard overlap Mountain Residence for Art Studio 03

Tilting One System, Two Buildings--( House & Luxury Store ) 04

Under the canopy Student Activity Center


Lithe Traditional Handmade Kite Studio Site: Weifang, Shandong Province, China Building Area: 2200m2 Date of Project: Aug. 2017 Personal Research Individual Work With the rapid development of the economy, the continuous upgrading of the industrial forms and types, people in the wave of the social progress gradually blinded their eyes, the original culture and industry are in the decline, and some have even disappeared. In such a crisis, what should we do? Owing to the invasion of new industries, the kite industry waned. The construction of Weifang City which regards kite industry as center of the chain has a positive significance, the rise of this will motivate other types of industries, and form the mutual cooperation and development.

INDUSTRY NETWORK IN WEIFANG PROVINCE Economists have said that if an area has an interrelated industry and a chain reaction, it will benefit the region's economic development and the mutual promotion. The kite industry has not yet declined in Weifang Province in the 90’s, but due to the invasion of new industries which led to the original industrial chain decomposition, and gradually degraded, the kite industry waned. The construction of Weifang Province which regards the kite industry as the center of the industrial chain has a positive significance, the rise of kite industry will motivate forestry, textile industry, paper industry and tourism industry, and they will have mutual cooperation and promote regional development.

AIM & CONCEPT The location of the building is Weifang, which is the birthplace of the world, Weifang’s kite is the traditional handicraft treasures of folk traditional festivals and cultural customs in Weifang. It’s the nonphysical cultural heritage. Kite culture originated here, but now it is very lost, the production chain which is formed by the kite making before is no longer exist, all industries are gradually declining. This design hopes to re-build the industrial structure of Weifang Province, what is more to revive the kite culture.

High quality wood

Forestry Factory

People cut down bamboo in the forest.

The workers choose high quality ones in the existing bamboo.

The bamboo will be further processed and it will be easier to process into the size the artist wants.

The workers are looking for silkworms in mulberry and collecting silk.

Textile workers will be spinning the silk, made into the primitive silk material.

Silk material will be washed and dried, to make it into th e o n e w h i c h f i t s th e production of kite.

Brewed raw materials for the production of pulp, to format paper raw materials.

The pulp is cooled, filtered in a pond, and impurities are filtered off.

Finally, drying, to produce paper for the drawing paper.

Moso bamboo

Folium mori

Textile Industry Factory

Straw litter

Coniferous tree

Paper Industry Factory


INDUSTRY REVIVED BY HANDMADE KITE The chain effect of an industry is enough to activate the economic structure of the city. The revival of the kite culture and the spread of culture will promote the related industries and form the urban network. Finally, it will affect the appearance and cultural connotation of the city.

THE ATTITUDE FACING OUTSIDE The outline of the building uses a more respectful state around the building, with a smooth curve line cutting the five building facade of this architecture. Because building's address is in the trees, I hope there should be a friendly attitude to nature. With the arc cutting the roof of the building, I hope it is taller when facing the park, so that it can attract people to come here. The south direction of it is the workplace of the artist studio, I hope it could be more close to human scale.

DIVERSITY IN VERTICAL DIMENSIONS There are rich height differences in the design, so that the upper and lower space boundaries are stretched, a line transfers into a plane, the auxiliary room and bathroom are placed here, the need for isolation and independence is achieved. And this system could retain the form of integrity and form nomadic walking line in main spaces.


Type One -" Enclosed "

Type Two -" Permeating "

Type Three -" Passing by "

Type Four -" Windmill "

Type Five -" Zigzag "

Type Six -" Move around "

Type Seven -" Flexing "

Type Eight -" Radial "

The space formed by triangles is nomadic in the plan, because of their orientation, they form a variety of spaces, each of which connect to the suitable function and scale. These diagonal openings create completely different order from "horizontal and vertical". In a sense, each inclined line contains infinite degree in between "open" and "close", so that we can feel complex effects of 3-dimentional combination of these lines, which remind us some kinds of natural environments as forest.

1. Communicating Hall 2. Coffee 3. Exhibitions 4. Resting 5. Lobby 6. Lecture Hall 7. Private Exhibition 8. Rest Room for Artist 9. Workrooms 10. Underground Washroom

Ground Floor Plan

-Exhibition hall for kites

-Communicating zone for culture

-Private hall for the artists

-Lecture hall for speeches

-Working place for artists and the apprentices

-Half exterior spaces for the roaming and feeling nature

In the park of the Kite Memorial Square, the building is like a light sculpture, as if there were wind, it would fly up, people could not help but indulge in reveries when looking at it, light and agile.

Section position 1

Section position 2

Section position 3

The Rest Lobby

The Exhibition Hall

The Communication Area

The Transitional Space

40mm thick

60mm thick

50 x 50mm

Roof facing

Metal plates

Secondary frame

Metal truss

Minor truss

Plate facing

Load-bearing structure adopts inverted triangular steel truss, skin is metal plate. The area which contact the ground will reflect the lightweight structure and this approach can also form internal roaming space. When the span is large, this form can create a roaming space with the truss corner. The structure is truss, and metal plate is attached to the surface of the structure, then smear the surface, in order to cover the metal plate joints, using this method to make the structure lighter and thinner, and take concerted action with the bone and skin of kites.


Courtyard Overlap Mountain Residence for Art Studio Site: Zhangjiajie, Hu'nan Province, China Building Area: 1390m2 Date of Project: Dec. 2015 Instructor: Zhigang Wang Individual Work This design wants to inherit and reinterpret the characteristic "courtyards" of dwelling houses in Hu'nan Province and to preserve the homogeneity and diversity of the dwelling houses. So that people can enjoy the feeling of new courtyards while retaining the local memory. Through the intersection of two blocks forming a shared courtyard, and organizing traffic around the courtyard, organizing space, it makes everything in the building have a relationship with the courtyard, the role of the yard has become more diverse, and gradually enter into people's lives.



'Lang' village

'Shijia' village

'Dali' village

'Tanlong' village

Porosity: 15%

Porosity: 23%

Porosity: 31%

Porosity: 46%

'Nanshiqiao' village

'Qianyu' village

'Qingwu' village

'Dongshan' village

Porosity: 29%

Porosity: 35%

Porosity: 42%

Porosity: 39%

In the long-term development of the Xiangxi dwelling houses, the courtyard was formed. Due to the height-width ratio of the location to the courtyard itself, the courtyard itself was obstructed. At the same time, people often seldom used the activities therein. It gradually lost its value in use and became a symbol.

LOGIC GENERATION The beginning of the creation of overlapping courtyards takes into account the commonality of courtyards. At the same time I want to achieve mutual confidentiality of the space on both sides of the courtyard, then the four blocks begin to move alternately up and down. By turning it could form a good landscape orientation. Organizing traffic in the space between the courtyard and the room enable the courtyard better link the events in the building and the people.

The building is standing still like a sculpture in the landscape and slowly blending into nature.



Looking out




Passing through


Several physical model photos depict the moments and the scenes in the mountain residence and around it. The residence functions as a place where makes the incidents happen and where people's interactions are encouraged. The functional property is not the restriction of the possibilities. This makes the inns as a window for the people to view the landscapes and the container of the nature.

Ground Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Third Floor Plan


Form dimensions conclude three kinds, 0.75m, 1.5m, and 3.0m. These three forms will form three kinds of relations between landscape and human : pointing to the landscape, framing the landscape and the mutual one between people and scenes.

The combination of a staircase rising up the courtyard and a fenestration on the faรงade creates a multidirectional view of the landscape, allowing the user to continually update their perspectives and landscapes while changing their spatial location.


mountain scenes

lake scenes

Under the co-operation of the faรงade windows and the traffic system running through the semi-outdoor space, the outdoor scenery is no longer separated by the fragmentation of the window, but appears in the field of view like a movie clip. The location of the perspective and the size of the window affect people's senses, a system that also makes the landscape more three-dimensional.

TREE IN THE ROOM The picture depicts the tree people look at when they enter the room. The tree is in the shared patio, surrounded by trees, each person's room, but the height of each room is different, so people are not embarrassed, People are in front of this courtyard, and occasionally people will find the same people with them to enjoy the courtyard, and then smile.

TREE IN THE COURTYARD This scene will appear when people just climb the stairs, the people's position will continue to rise in contact with different parts of the tree. The courtyard of the space experience becomes threedimensional. It is slowly getting closer to people and infiltrating each other. People can see someone walking behind the trees, people and people's boundaries have become blurred.

AWAY The path appears at the moment of leaving the courtyard and near the courtyard, such a semi-outdoor space smoothly transitioning between the room and the mountain scenery.

IN It is the intersection of the paths that surround the courtyards, where people keep moving into the courtyard and moving away from the courtyard, and continues.


Tilting One System, Two Buildings House & Luxury Store for McQueen Building Area: 432m2 & 1280m2 Date of Project: Oct. 2017 Instructor: Yutian Wang Individual Work The primitive impulse of architecture comes from creating a place and order that inspires movement and events. There are practical attributes that have been over-typed by the objective functions. We are usually good at using function as a starting point for describing a building and as a basis for discussing formalities to establish the connection and logical relationship between them. The fragility of this connection often manifests itself in the fact that functions are quickly represented as room, with a clear hierarchy of relations between rooms, this is dualism. I would like to explore a flat system of space chaos that redefines the discussion of the notion of "threshold values" in architectural language.


"Tilting", this is both an action and the formation of the state after the action. What I want to do is to break the original limits at the surface level and redefine it.

Vertical - "wall"

Horizontal - "floor"

Breaking the boundary

The two most important surfaces in the original space are the vertical plane and the horizontal plane, both of which define the bounding space together with the binary opposition.

When "wall" and "floor" break the original boundaries, the opposition between them begins to blur, and the characters in space also experience interesting transformations, variations and overlaps. The limits of the surface within the space are also redefined in this process.

Tilting makes the relationship between space become only up and down, without distinction between inside and outside, the definition of space has been unprecedentedly extended, and threshold of surface in this context has been released.

















" ALPHABET " How many possibilities exist for the surface due to its multiple modes of operation of offsetting? Are these spatial elements combined to create a more complex and interpretable way of defining the limits? The result is a "dictionary," which, though not necessarily direct in design, will serve as a database as a basis for designing language system.



10% - Ramp

10% - Stair

10% - Platform

10% - Chamber

10% - Well

10% - Fence

10% - Auditorium

10% - Eaves

20% - Ramp

20% - Stair

20% - Platform

20% - Chamber

20% - Well

20% - Fence

20% - Auditorium

20% - Eaves

30% - Ramp

30% - Stair

30% - Platform

30% - Chamber

30% - Well

30% - Fence

30% - Auditorium

30% - Eaves

45% - Ramp

45% - Stair

45% - Platform

45% - Chamber

45% - Well

45% - Fence

45% - Auditorium

45% - Eaves

" PRONUNCIATION " The two contexts explored in the Diagram are the degree to which the horizontal surface is tilted, and the thickness of the vertical surface in space. Different inclinations describe how one side tends to be horizontal or to the vertical, tending to keep walking or splitting up; at the same time as a side begins to have thickness, its role will begin to diversify. These two contexts are also the direction of future development of two programs.

























Ramp + Platform

Ramp + Platform

Stair + Platform

Stair + Platform

Stair + Platform

Stair + Chamber

Stair + Chamber

Ramp + Chamber

Ramp + Well

Stair + Well

Ramp + Fence

Stair + Auditorium

Stair + Auditorium

Platform + Chamber

Platform + Chamber

Platform + Well

Platform + Fence

Platform + Fence

Platform + Auditorium

Platform + Auditorium

Platform + Eaves

Chamber + Well

Chamber + Auditorium

Eaves + Well

" VOCABULARY " The proliferation and variation of the same element, as well as the superposition of different kinds of elements, can enrich the possibility created by the tilting action. Each change means the overlap of fuzziness. The relationship is not addition, but multiplication. Although not not useful as instructions for specific designs, this atlas would perform as a basis for the system of design languages.


a room + a stair

a stair + a platform

a slope

a room + two stairs + two platforms

two slopes + a platform

a slope + a stair

a room + two stairs + three platforms

a slope + a stair + a platform

a roof + two platforms + a room + three stairs

In the case of house, what I'm exploring is the possibility of the surface's thickness in space. The different thickness determines the surface's role in space, its features, and the functions it can perform. When the surface has a sense of volume in space, it becomes more diverse, it can become a staircase, a platform or even a room. After different degrees of offsetting, the definition of one surface will become blurred, the threshold will be redefined.


-97 degrees ~ 45 degrees

40 degrees ~ 60 degrees

-175 degrees ~ 5 degrees

-10 degrees ~ 10 degrees

0 degrees ~ 80 degrees

30 degrees ~ 36 degrees

33 degrees ~ 90 degrees

In the luxury store project, I would like to discuss the tilting possibility, and accumulate individuals with different degrees of inclination to obtain a smooth transition of the three-dimensional surface. The surface will change from horizontal to vertical. And its function will also change from suitable walking to a wall that blocks people. When the function of the wall, the function of the floor, and the ones between them are all implemented on one surface, its threshold is expanded.

" Intersect "

Plan +10.900

Plan +5.300

" Invasion"

Plan +9.930

Plan +6.620

" Inflexible"

Section 1

Section 2

" Flexible"

Section 1

Section 2


Under The Canopy Student Activity Center Site: Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin, China Building Area: 11400m2 Date of Project: Mar. 2017 Instructor: Jinsong Zhao Individual Work The general problem of student activity center in China is that although the building has a variety kinds of functions, there are very few students who regard it as the primary choice for activity. The design hopes to let people regain the perception of space, re-plan atmosphere, and gradually solve the existing problems. The property of space should not be defined by function, its existence affects the feeling of people and the atmosphere of space. I hope to create a nomadic space, without hierarchical relationship between each space.

“Space” The initial definition of the concept “space” come up by human being is person’s feet on the earth, above head is infinite firmament. The zone which is between two limits, is the space. When the firmament is infinitely extended, any place is under the firmament, then all the scenes are panoramic view, the activity of human being will be based on different circumstances to make different reactions and activities. In the initial space, the human perception is the strongest, the awareness of people is the most clear.

NOMADIC SPACE ≠ CHAOTIC FUNCTIONS The property of space should not be defined by function, its existence affects the feeling of people and the atmosphere of space, I hope to create a nomadic space, without hierarchical relationship between each space. Nomadic space does not mean that the function is of the chaos. “The form should follow function” is a neutral definition, the function should not affect the user, and should not fetter them. I expect to release the primitive nature of people. Hope that everyone will feel free to carry out activities, then they gradually get back to the sensitivity of the space atmosphere and behavior.

SHAPE Through the discussion of the building shape, I hope this building could make the students using it or just passing by absorbed in an easiness atmosphere, for a sake of that buildings existing in campus are kind of boring and fixed form.

FLUCTUANT ROOF There are a number of control points on the building’s roof, showing the ups and downs of the roof. Unlike the other buildings on the campus, the design of the appearance gives a more lively feeling, while the facades also present a rich form, what’s more, the building is located near the lake. The ups and downs of the roof seem to be connected with the sky and connected to the lake.

Ground Floor Plan

The picture depicts the scene what people see when they just pass through the library, the student activity center locates on the other side of the lake, it is different from the other buildings on campus, but familiar, which attracts people to enter it.

Second Floor Plan

Third Floor Plan

This scene depicts the people standing next to the student activities center, the undulating roof seems to have no end. At the same time, the students and the people passing by unconsciously want to enter the building, to feel the enveloped sense brought by the roof.

THE SECTIONS OF FLUCTUANT ROOF The roof of the building has a continuous change, the trend of these changes and the degree of change are related to the functional requirements of the space below the roof, the form of the roof not only reflects the esthetic point, but also reflects the character of the lower space and functional integration, intersection and the transition process between each other.

The sections are cut along the long side of the building, to show the continuously fluctuating of the roof and the heights under it. The different functional spaces will have different requirements for the height of the roof, the integration of similar functions on the plan arrangement will bring a high degree of continuous change, and it will finally form the shape of roof, which continually change or vary in a regular way whatever inside or outside.

FUNCTION AND ROOF The functional space which has the direct contact with the roof has an effect on the fluctuation range and the frequency of the roof. In the right function arrangement, the roof will show continuous and multi-frequency fluctuations.

“INVASION” THRESHOLD VALUE The space in the building is under a united roof. Different functions of the space can withstand the "invasion" from the roof of different degrees, which could make the roof change within a certain threshold value.

During the exhibitions

Before the arranging

In the usual time

After the morning reading

ETFE membrane structure is light, and it can achieve a la rg e de g ree of li g ht transmission, the internal will have a soft light environment, it is the roof material because I want to give it same feeling of endless sky, which brings people reveries.

The combination of steel and wood can not only gain a large span and light structure, but also allows the structure to give people a certain degree of warmth.

The concrete wall gives a heavy feeling, contrasting with the light roof, to give the people wonderful feeling who is in the between of them.

The students were exercising under the roof. The dawn of the sun shine through the roof, indicating the beginning of a day's life.

DETAILS OF ROOF DRAINAGE The roof has a slanted angle, and the roof water will converge to one side, hiding the drainage structure behind the main girder and the facade grille is the method, so that the necessary facilities will not affect the building facade effect.

DETAILS OF FACADE GRATING In order not to affect the effect of a large-area glass curtain wall, a small amount of horizontal structure is sandwiched between them. The rest of the structure supporting the vertical grating is the vertical bars which connects the horizontal structures vertically and can clean the facade of the glass curtain wall.

DIVERSITY UNDER THE CANOPY "Canopy" enables a variety of activities, outdoor space, semi-outdoor space and indoor space are connected with each other, so that the building has a wealth of walking rhythm and space experience. Everything in the space has become coherent.

E-mail: Telephone: +86-158-2290-3527 Address: No.92 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, China Postal Code: 300072

Ziyang Xu - Portfolio  
Ziyang Xu - Portfolio