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WEN ZHOU PORTFOLIO 2009-2013 APPLICATION FOR MARCH. 1


Homo Luden - Design from Play

CONTENT AT SCHOOL 2009/09 to 2012/07 Year 3 Thesis Project Phase 1 - Aficionado’s Retreat Thesis Project Phase 2 - Fun Palace of Gambling Year 2 Project 1 - London Gasholder View Point Project 2 - Preah Khan Theology Library Project 3 - Inhabitation - Little India Hostel Year 1 Lakeside Youth Performance Center

OTHER WORKS


aficionado’s retreat year 3 thesis project - phase 1 tutor: luke olsen; james wignall This teamwork asked students to design, build and live-in an Aficionado’s Retreat which house up to 4 people for 24 hrs. This project should explores the theme ‘ the 4th dimension’ and experiment as a prototype of thesis project. The Aficionado’s Retreat of our group tested a simple idea, a grid-based transformable architecture that could fold into three different spaces named ‘The Vestibule’, ‘The Dining Table’ and ‘The Dwelling Space. It testified the possibility of building a flexible and lightweight structure based on a grid system and playful process of transforming the structure, overthrowing our traditional understanding of ‘grid’ when we talk about buildings. Thus, it urges me to experiment this simple thought on larger scale structure.

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detail

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1:2 detail drawing on A2

4. joint detail & material

1 the vestibule 2 the dining table 3 the dwelling space 3

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Installation process


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3 * FABRICATION, TEAMWORK OF FOUR PEOPLE

1 the vestIbule 2 the dining table 3 the dwelling space

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CONCEPT DRAWINGS These two concept drawings represent the idea of modularization of the transformable structure, by extending the module by the grids.

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fun palace of gambling

-on foldability of architecture year 3 thesis project - phase 2 tutor: luke olsen; james wignall

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Design Brief 1.0

‘FUN PALACE’ – A New Typology:

Inspired by Archigram’s Plug-In City and Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, the project will study on a typology of architecture that comprises the function of recreation, leisure, experimental workshops that determine the term ‘fun’ and ‘play’. Especially in a site people would hardly think of ‘play’ and ‘fun‘, what could be the compensate life for bankers in this financial area. The book ‘Homo Ludens – A Study of Play-Element in Culture’ has been referenced by the project of Plug-In City, Fun Palace and Constant’s New Babylon. ‘Homo Ludens’ (Man the player), says that human history was built with the desire to play. Music, Painting, Poems, Law etc., all these contains parts of playful element in it.

Cedric Price: Fun Palace

The playing and enjoyment process generates our desire to learn, to create, to invent, to change. Or even most of the time, to play doesn’t have any functional meaning. It is believed to be a way of expressing, releasing some sort of emotion, an unclear physiological and psychological function.

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‘FLEXIBILITY’:

Looking back in history, radical thinking on the future of Architecture visualized by Archigram, Cedric Price, Constant Nieuwenhuys or Japanese Metabolism given us an exciting and dreamlike vision of future of architecture. Besides their common interest in Homo Ludens, their design also envisaged similarly in some part by using the same architectural components – cranes, massive trusses and tubes, diagonal escalator. There is a strict logic behind the language they use and they share a common understanding of Flexibility as expandable, interchangeable, self-generating (proliferation) and metabolic on a hierarchical structure. ‘Fun and Flexibility’ as Reyner Banham writes it, points out the central idea of the era, the era of post-mechanism and pre-cybernetics. Even for today, the idea of ‘Fun and Flexibility’ are still remain one of architects’ dream with different medium and technology. In this project, what I experiment on is a transforming architecture prototype. Instead of having fixed bones and replaceable flesh, my intension is to build a moving body - architecture that transforms in a scheduled life cycle.

Homo Ludens - The Play-Element in Culture By Johan Huizinga


3.0 The challenge of site: Lime Street In order to keep on the prototype study, it requires a site with rich multi-dimensional grid systems – a site has similar density as Canary Wharf but with more variety of grids would be ideal. From the movie – Blade Runner, a vision of future city describes life in a 3D grid and vertical living, thus I start to look for a site with certain height, for instance, a skyscraper. The chosen site - Lime Street, lies in the oldest part of London which now is the financial centre of modern London. It has a variety of buildings built through history, including a few modern skyscrapers standing there or under construction. It is dense and chaotic in the first sense. After site visit, I chose Lime Street as my site. It is not a common architectural site as it’s not a spare land nor need refurbishment. However, layers of grids (geometrical, structural, environmental and even social) gave the site a strong identity, which could either be restriction or great possibility. The Cardsharps - Calavaggio, 1594

4.0 Defining the program - Casino - Fun Palace of Gambling History of gambling is almost as long as history of banking. The idea of designing a Fun Palace of Gambling derived from the book ‘Casino Capitalism‘ written by Susan Strange. In this book, the author made a clever comparison of Financial Industry to a Casino, full of risks and gambles on luck. This casino involves everyone into the play whether they are willingly or not. Change of interest rates, price of oil, inflation, all these may halve or double our fortune. Bank Industry has changed from the traditional impression of stable and cautious and many accused it to the years of deregulation. Possibly, the will to gamble is part of human inborn personality. The earliest cavemen were found to be gamblers, with the proof of dice-like objects made out of bones and cave drawings depicting their gambling in their habitats. Gambling activities varied in history around the world, from diced played in ancient Roman armies to modern lotteries and casino games. It has been outlawed and then regulated to play legally. It has been blamed for people are easy to addicted to it but it could never been banned through human culture. Besides the gambling activity in gambling halls, men sometimes need to gamble on their life or business. It takes courage to make decisions on unpredictable things, the only thing to rely on is their luck. To look at it in a positive way, gambling could actually be recreational than pathological with careful regulation. To guide people to legal and recreational gambling would work better than banning it. On Lime Street, a Fun Palace of Gambling is designed as a temporary space for weekends and bank holidays only. It would be a venue for bankers to release their desire to gamble and revitalize the site. Life bring to the site with transformation of the site on a weekly frequency. The focus of the project is a study on Transient Architecture, on ‘change’ and ‘flexibility’ which are not usually considered architecturally. The transition is explored structurally and culturally. The two function should not interfere each other but adding to the quality of both.

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analytic drawing of a expanding arm

ANALYTICAL DRAWINGS The project starts with the study of kinetic mechanism of umbrella arm, and then translate these graphic information into computerised simulation by grasshopper.


CONCEPT IMAGE This concept image represents the beauty of motion and the transient space it captured during the expanding and folding process.

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PHYSICAL MODEL This concept image represents the beauty of motion and the transient space it caputured during the expaning and unfolding process.

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1 Section - sports-betting atrium 2 Elevation - gambling club

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1 Sports-betting atrium @ Workday 2 Sports-betting atrium @ Weekend

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1 Fun Palace Entrance @ Workday 2 Fun Palace Entrance @ Weekend


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1 Gambling Arcade Interior 2 Sports-betting Atrium Interior

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Joint Detail: 1 Structure Temporary Anchor Point 2 Rotation Joint 3 Drainage Point 4 Rotation Joint 5 Main Structure Load 6 Secondary Structure Load

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year 2 projects project 1: london gasholder view point project 2: preah khan theology library project 3: inhabitation - little india hostel tutor: adrien friend Year 2 projects consist of a group of small projects which cultivate student’s ability of concept proposing, researching to final product of design. During my exchange to National University of Singapore at Year 2, I did two projects which for the first time locate outside of England. It challenged my ability to quickly research on local culture and design buildings that suits the local climate.

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project 1 london gasholder view point For this project, student were asked to design a view point - a simple structure from which to look out and observe the city of London. This viewing structure is to be place within the frame of the existing King’s Cross Gasholder no. 8. The main challenge is to define the way of observation. In my proposal, I transformed this gasholder into a launch station for a journey by high altitude balloon. The whole journey travelled on the balloon is an ever-changing process from micro to macro world. The journey starts at the ground level, which is designed to be a gallery for micro photography, and generally rises to see the full picture of the city. Gradually the city become smaller and smaller, and finally disappear when the balloon reach a high altitude.


project 2 preah khan theology library This project is to design a theology library which lies in the ruins of Preah Khan, Angkor Wat. My proposal is to use the same material of the ancient relics but different geometrical solution, in capturing the contrast between light and shadow. 16


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timber louver

Timber frame 2 Concrete living pods & Low-E glass windows

Concrete floor slab

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Section A PLAN Section B Axonometric 3D model Rendering

Plaza pedestrian paving

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project 3 inhabitation - little india hostel This project is to design a hostel for young travellers while the special aspect is the site. The site locates in the Little India of Singapore, which is the settlement for Indian immigrants. The concept of my proposal comes from traditional Indian dress - Sari. The 5-meter long cloth wrapping with creases reveals the beauty of woman body. The design borrowed the concept of sari and created a curved of space shaded by timber louvers. And the space between the timber louvers and the travellers’ living pods became a semi-outdoor space for local community activities and interaction between the locals and travellers.

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site plan site section section election plan physical model

lakeside youth performance center year 1 project tutor: valeria carnevale 18


OTHER WORKS Physical model making has always been a major way of exploring architecture for me. It assist me to play with aesthetic of a form, or perceive the weight, texture, light and shadow through the tectonics, or even, grasp some ideas from the design of everyday objects… It blurs the boundary between Architecture and Non-Architecture and make ‘design’ a fun process.

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*In collobaration with adithya prasad & keerthy rajasekharan @ nus

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14fall GSAPP MArch.1 Application Portfolio  
14fall GSAPP MArch.1 Application Portfolio  
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