Page 1

Design Folio ARCH 7202 Graduation Studio Zhixiong Lin 3092236




Expression of Interest


Design Resolution


Progressive Sketches


Architectural Thinking and Making (Site Intepretation)


Architectural Thinking and Making (Precedent)


Architectural Thinking and Making (Literature Review)




Expression of Interest

The following section consists of the initial expression of interest submitted prior to the confirmation of studio groups. This is an independent studio thus it is important that the basic project outline is stated clearly to give direction to self directed research methodologies and key issues dealing with the subject in focus.


Project Outline Architectonics: Iconography, Technology and Surface The name of the project is Architectonics: Iconography, Technology and Surface. The project will be an automotive showroom. Depending on the ambition and site, the project can extend into several other related programs such as workshops, event spaces, administration hub, associated restaurants and café etc. The interest of the project as the title suggested is in the architectonics; the translation of ideas into built form from inception to realization. Built in this sense refers to the general construct of a building and the realization of a ‘concrete’ structure. The project will focus on three main topics namely iconography, technology and surface:


In recent years, there is an increase of new showcases being built for modern mobility all over the world. International car manufacturers are increasingly keen in creating an architectural identity for their brands. Especially in recent times when consumers have become more demanding and with a greater choice of brands available worldwide, manufacturers are eager to strengthen their brand awareness and position themselves well for the future. An automotive showroom gives the manufacturers a great opportunity to make a statement about their brands. Therefore it is crucial that any design of a showroom to articulate and develop the means of conveying brand-specific languages. It is also equally as important that the built is bestowed with a appropriate sense of iconicity; the level of communication with the public beyond the conventional realm.


In architecture, the design of a building is based on a multitude of elements including spatial articulation, proportions, natural lighting, circulation etc. In fashion, it covers a broad range of aspects such as colours, patterns, materials, tactility etc. However, no design industry is akin to automotive design in the fact that it places strong focus on surfaces. The surface to a car is more than a protective layer. It is functional and expressive; functional in the shaping of form that assists in aerodynamics and expressive in the visual aesthetics of the form. The design should take up the similar design methodologies of multivalency in essence and surface to be explored as part of the architectonics. Surfaces in automotive can be also associated with the ergonomics and comfort of the design. It can also be extended into the tactile quality of different materials. All these aspect is to be considered in the design of the showroom in order to have a successful outcome. Automotive design is considered as front runners in the design industry. The design of cars dictates and influences other fields of design, forecasting what is to come in the future. Last but not least, the design of the automotive showroom should therefore also have the ambition to allow for futuristic and avant-garde concepts.


Automotive design and technology evolved simultaneously. It is perhaps the only design industry that requires designers to keep up with the latest technology in order to survive in the competitive fields. For a building that represents car, it is essential to have the same ambition as automotive designers. The proposal should seek to explore new and advanced construction techniques. This includes both structural and technical. Due to large spans required over display space, the design should actively seek to provide innovative suggestion to structural solution. Likewise regarding technical aspect, the design should aspire to a sustainable future. This could also be seen as a step in improving the brand’s image in public relation as the awareness of environmental issues continues to increase. Technology in the industry of car design also involves the use of new materials, such as new metal alloys that are lighter and stronger. In a sense that is the same case in architecture where architects and engineers look to invent, discover and utilize new materials that allows for new expression, flexibility, durability etc. Therefore it is also important for the design of the showroom to consider the use of new materials.




Design Resolution

The following section consists of the final resolution. It is the result of the accumulation of all the studies and consideration carried prior to it. It is interpretation of the myriad information, research collected in built form. This Folio will work in reverse, showing the result prior to the process that led to it. This will help one to better understand the logic of an action or a non-action within the design.








View from South Dowling Street


Night View from South Dowling Street


View from Landscape Park


View from Delfries Avenue


Top View


Automotive Gallery


Premiere Delivery Service


Technology Centre


Site Plan


Underground Plan


Ground Level Plan


Level 1 Plan


Level 2 Plan


Level 3 Plan


Detail Section


ESD Diagram & Axonometric


Longitudinal Section


Short Section



Progressive Sketches

The following section consists of selected hand drawn sketches done in the personal design sketch book. It consists of sketches done throughout different stages from research studio to graduation studio. Although they are presented in a chronological order from the time which they are drawn, they are not meant to be read as a whole or in any sequence but as a way to capture different fragments of ideas considered and explored.


The initial concept is to explore the concept of a courtyard typology that is pervasive in the architecture in Victoria Park. The U-shaped form reflects the building addressing the different frontages of the site. The idea of repetition and duplication is explored dealing with both the concepts of ‘mass production’ and ‘mass consumerism’.

Initial exploration of possible program provokes the possiblity for green farming to be integrated as part of the design. It is idealized as a box lifted up to allow visual connection to the showroom yet allowing the green farming to shaped the image of the brand.

After analyzing the different precedents of automotive showrooms, I questioned if a showroom should be a built form instilled with dynamism or should it be of regular form endowed with subtle notes of organism and dynamism.

The idea of the showroom as a stage is explored. Multiple planimetric diagrams are overlapped to illustrate how it brings about a sense of mobilit. Circular platforms are conceived as stages where the cars are displayed.


The conceptual framework is superimposed to draw out limitation to the ground floor plan. The form is sensitive to the change of scale from the highway to pedestrianized streets. It is from this diagram that further development is proceeded.

Similar to the diagram before, however this one explores the possiblity of introducing a ramp through the centre of the building thus concealing it. After studying Audi Lighthouse, it is foreseen that in a multistorey automotive showroom that the ramp is an important element to get right from the start.

The facade is conceieved as a skin. The contextual forces pushes against this skin transforming it into a continuous folded plan form by the planimetric contours lines.

The two illustrations show how the twisting of plan would look like. Two tubes run along the facade which contained the circular platforms. ‘Tension-free’ horizonal is thought to run along the facade and highway exuding speed and movement.


The planimetric diagram shows how the ramp could be incorporated in the centre of the building. The idea of wrapping the ramp around the lift forms a space which could be utilized for services. This is the base plan in which the two element twist.

A section sketch showing how the ramp is inserted into the building. It dissects different floorplates forming different spaces of difference heights. The idea of the movement of the car shaping the interior is played out in this section.

Here are some sketch diagrams exploring different options of articulating the placement and shape of the ramp. There was consideration breaking away the rough edges of turn of the ramp with smoother transission of curving ramps.


This sketch explores the potential of different material and facade option. Questions asked at this point: How to use structure to emphasize the horizontals? How to manipulate image of brand through a building like that? There is a possibility of using green belt to emphasize the horizontal whilst using large span steel element to express the innovative engineering aspect of BMW.

Studies were done on the are needed for displaying of cars. Initial measurements are based on the idea that the circular (in this case eliptical) platforms form the main display area. It is also dependent on the sizing of the ramp. Therefore, the scale and form of the building is directly affected by different elements related to automotive.


The initial idea of the showroom as noise barrier is illustrated in these images. It is conceived that the noise barrier continues from the facade skin of the building wrapping along the site. There was consideration of utilizing this barrier as a tube that becomes the ‘premiere’ car delivery program of the BMW Kolben.

The idea of forming organic and dynamic curves without using curve elements is shown in this perspective of an conceived interior of the ‘premiere’. Steel elements can be used to form a spiralling interior which expresses speed and movement through the tunnel.


Attempts are made to thinking about the movement of the floorplates in more than one direction. Using the constraints of the site intepretation, several options was tried out and conceptualized. This involves sliding floorplates, twisting at different angles and scaling of forms.

Question was asked like before, should the reverse happen? Should the exterior form be a dynamic skin that wraps around a relatively more regular interior space akin to the dynamics of a car with the skin playing no direct relations to its interior. Here it is conceived that two element twists and wraps around a interior box.

Instead of a continuous skin, it is considered possible to break it up with a stratification of horizontal forms. Does this express the movement and dynamism of the built form more than a continuous skin?


At this point, I decided to take another approach and re-interrogate the site interpretation I did. The first diagram illustrate the drawing of ‘imaginary’ contextual forces of the site to shape the built form. Other consideration was considered to integrate the building more into the site than having a single sculptural element on the site. The ramp is removed from the core of the building, thereby allowing the building to be more slender and expressively more akin to a acoustic barrier.

The section shows the main body of the building seperated from the atrium like display space facing the highway. The ‘premiere’ is attached to the the skin and becomes a continuous element wrapping around the curve of the site. There is a 3m drop from the highway to the pedestrianized street, thus there is a possibility of allowing the ground plan to become the public plane.


.The pragmatic becomes expressive The expressive becomes pragmatic Walls become ceilings Ceilings become walls Structure becomes surface Surface becomes structure

Here’s a section illustrating the tube like ‘premiere’ delivery program acting as not only a vehicle transfer route but also become the ceiling of the area below. The idea of multivalency relates back to automotive design where skin is both expressive and functional. Protective and aesthetic driven. In a way different elements here works in the same way. Walls become ceiling which wraps up to become the floor for the platform above. Pratical element acting as the ‘premiere’ becomes a light well to allow daylight to penetrate at the same time becomes a expressive element of both the interior and the exterior.


These sketches explores the idea of the structure being the subject of spectacle. It is imagined that the drum consisting of the circular ramps could become the iconic element of the building. Different ways of articulating the structural diagrid is explored. The drum is both removed visually from the rest of the building and continued physically from the facade of the building.

The frontage facing the highway provokes an interesting question; whether it should be expressive and spectacular to express the product it is housing, or should it be minimum and transparent to best display the products. This will be a continuous question asked along the design process to make sure the priorities are right when conceiving the design.


Scale sketch illustrates the possible form that fits within the scalar analysis. The commercial front at this early stage can be seen to have a larger frontage. Initial form finding sketch reveals the first intent of capturing the concept with a tangible form. The overlapping concepts are seen in one drawing as if to find connection between the two.

Early Section showing possible structural resolution. Clear articulation of skin and programmatic blocks are illustrated even in these early stages of design. Floors of varying levels are considered whilst a central public space takes place.

Planimetric sketch shows the possible location of structural frames that fits both with the scalar analysis and the nothing of duplication and distortion. The ribbon form within is conceived as a programmatic block explored in the earlier research studio.


Sectional sketching shows the initial programmatic allocation, with most of the programs shifting into its final location. Museum taks up underground space with a lightwell lighting it. The floating showroom is conceived at this stage as a slab hung off the structure. An elevated garden is shown in this sketching but it was subsequently removed due to the appropriateness of it.

An interior sketching of the showroom spaces allows exploration of the articulation of structure, glazing element and floor slab expression

The viewing cones is studied in section to see the possibility of introducing a shelter entrance to parts of the showroom.




Architectural Thinking and Making (Site Intepretation)

The following section consists of the series of decision taken within a design process and an attempt to tease it apart into strains of ideas and concept that could be understood. This part would be related to the site intepretation done prior to the design phase and how it influenced the design.


Conceptual Framework Roads, traffic, intersections are medium to transportation and automotive. Automotive have to deal with these mobility issues, likewise, a design related to automotive should exhibit the same rigour. In the conceptual framework, connecting lines are drawn from intersection on the periphery of the site that cuts through the site. This forms the initial conceptual framework that assists in the generation of building form in

the proposed design. The generation of the two ‘reverse view cones’ are conceived as a consequence of this diagram. *Reverse view cones – does not frames the view but reverse that typology by turning the frame on itself and framing the object displayed.


Scale This scale diagram refers to the scalar shift of usage of the peripheral area of the site. The massive change of scale from highway to pedestrian street is such a big jump that resulted in the building scale taking a less significant role. There are two perpendicular set of scales to consider. One from the highway to the pedestrian; the other from the main road to the main street. In the proposed design, the site is treated as four quadrants, with the apex in the NE quadrant. The

scale of the building form is generated by this analysis. The building form gradually grow from the lowest scale to the highest. The NW quadrant is treated as potential link to future civic space and thus left for the main entry.


Frontages Every site has different frontages. The design has to deal with the vastly different frontages of the site. The frontages of Cooper Place and South Downling Street reflect the commercial aspect of ‘promotion’ and ‘competition’. The proposed design addresses this with transparency of building form, the transparency to the viewing of products. The frontage facing Delfries Avenue reflects the human aspect of the residential

development. The fading off of building forms addresses this human aspect. The frontage of O’Dea Avenue reflects the stark change from new development to old industrial buildings. The two feature pools attempt to dampen this huge transition.


Noise As analyzed in the preliminary site analysis, there are clear indications that there are associated noise problems not only from the highway but also from O’Dea Avenue. The design therefore has to deal with such issues and act as a buffer for the rest of the site and also for more intimate programs of the design. In the proposed design, the building form lends itself to act as a noise buffer for the residential

development. The more private programs such as offices are shifted away from the roads within the form.


Velocity The velocity diagram maps out the velocity of vehicles of the South Dowling Street. It uses studies done on the traffic condition and observation on site visit to map out a planimetric interpretation to these data. Two sets of information from two directions are overlayed and meshed into one to form the diagram. The form of the second floor gallery slab is articulated by this velocity diagram. In the proposed design, there is this sense that the movement and mobility morphed the very form

of the building. The ‘reverse view cones’ also targets the two points where minimal velocity occurs and capture the views at the two points.




Architectural Thinking and Making (Precedents)

The following section consists of the series of decision taken within a design process and an attempt to tease it apart into strains of ideas and concept that could be understood. This part would be related to the precedent studies done prior to the design phase and how it influenced the design.


Showroom as a Stage It is the architect’s intention for the Audi Lighthouse Terminal to act as stages for automobiles. These spaces are orientated towards South Dowling Street and addressed to the passing cars. This finesse of this expression is affected by the solid block on the northern end. Not only did it intrude the display function of that showroom, it denies it the anti-gravitational expression of structure other showrooms had achieved.

The proposed design looks to refine the ‘showroom as a stage’ philosophy. It avoided any obstruction on the commercial side of the building. It also provides a ‘backdrop’ for the stage with the form of the two projecting ‘reverse view cones’. The elevation off the ground of the display gallery coupled with hovering expression achieved in other display spaces add to this drama.


line of demarcation

line of demarcation

Demarcation and Subsequent Release The very concept that defines the showroom space in the Lexus Showroom resulted in the insignificance of the workshop and administration hub. The two projecting walls become lines of demarcation marking out and separating the spaces. In order to integrate all the programs as a more complete whole, it is important to dilute the expression and physicality of these projecting walls whilst not to encroach in the definition of the showroom.

In the proposed design, the different spaces are clearly defined and demarcated be the two ‘reverse view cones’. Yet these demarcations are released in the expression of the building from the view of South Dowling Street. The separations are released in terms of visual connection and accessibility.


Juxtapositioning of Opposing Geometries In the BMW Welt, the double cone expresses the dynamism of the mobility. However, the interior consists of an exuberance of curvilinear expression. The simply expressed dynamism of the double cone is lost in the interior with the chaotic combinations of curves and non orthogonal expression. The proposed design looks to refine the expression of non-orthogonal forms by juxtapositioning the

non-orthogonal with orthogonal; the curvilinear with the liner. By contrasting the opposing expression, the design is able to heighten the aesthetic of its form. Moreover, the design maintained the dynamism of the building envelope by means of applying minimal intrusion.


The Showroom

The Workshop

The Administration Hub

Enclosure In the Lexus Showroom, the workshop and administration hub are both conceived as enclosed boxes. These two enclosed boxes become the backdrop that frames the showroom. The glazing is focused in the eastern corner side facing Scarborough Street. The glazed facade allows the vehicle product to dominate the overall expression of the building. In the proposed design, the ‘reverse view cones’ are conceived as enclosed boxes. These boxes

subsequently become the backdrop that frames the showroom. The floating display ramp and the ground plane complete this framing.


Circulation in a Showroom In the Lexus Showroom: The Showroom (Public) The circulation of the showroom space on the outside addresses Scarborough Street. The circulation of the showroom is hung off a central spine or corridor. Public and private circulation feeds off the spine. The Workshop (Semi-Private) The workshop is privately accessed by the private corridor. The flexible open space has a free circulation. The Administration Hub (Private) The administration hub consists of a main corridor where all the offices and meeting rooms feeds off. The public offices for negotiation are placed along the public central spine as it addresses the public. In the proposed design: The Showroom (Public): The circulation of the showroom is hung off a central spine and has a linear relationship to the dealership offices. This enhances the customer-dealer interaction. The Workshop (Semi-Private): The workshop is privately accessed via going through the solid block. The flexible open space has a free circulation. The Offices (Private): The public dealership cubicles are placed along the circulation of the showroom. The central corridor within the private areas serves both the public dealership cubicle as well as the offices.




Architectural Thinking and Making (Literature Review)

The following section consists of the series of decision taken within a design process and an attempt to tease it apart into strains of ideas and concept that could be understood. This part would be related to the precedent studies done prior to the design phase and how it influenced the design.


Encompassing Past, Present and Future

Multiplication and Distortion

The progress of the design was motivated by a literature review carried out on automotive architecture. The design is conceived as encompassing the past, present and future within the building. The development of automotive architecture is closely related to the development of spans in building construction i.e. timespan vs. span. The proposed design express this ideology with duplication of structural frames that grows in span. The programs are also conceived as a procession of past, present and future.

‘objects in motion multiply and distort themselves, just as do vibrations, which indeed they are, in passing through space.’ The different frames of motions are captured within the building in the structural frames. Just like motions and vibrations, these frames multiply and distort themselves. These frames expand with the scale of the surroundings. Likewise, the space, form and transparency changed in similar procession.



Design Folio  
Design Folio  

Design Folio