An Exhibition Center in the city of Changsha, China is designed by AmphibianArc for industrial vehicle manufacturer Zoomlion.
The most unique aspect of our project design is the building’s ability to change shape, or transform, literally. The double skin system throughout the building makes this “transformer building” possible. The inner skin takes care of the enclosure and building systems. The outer skin contains operable portions which can be opened or closed to mimic different animal forms. From a plain rectangular box as the initial state, the north facade transforms into an eagle and a butterfly, the south folds into a swimming frog. These animal forms reflect the company’s understanding of the delicate balance between nature and artificial invention, and their embrace for environmentally sound human development. Also, as a design strategy, we adopted ideographic forms to convey traditional Chinese cultural symbolism for leadership (eagle), ephemerality and fragility (butterfly) and prosperity (toad).
The intricate pattern on the façade is originally inspired by the wing patterns on butterflies or dragonflies. To achieve the systematic and organic nature of the patterns found on the wings of these insects, we used parametric modeling tools to generate and design the façade. The material for the skin is steel and glass. The pattern provides a light but sturdy structure. It conceals and incorporate the hydraulics which move and hold it in place. The result is a beautifully laid out intricate pattern, which allows daylight to penetrate into the exhibition hall and light emanate out into the corporate campus at night.