Muay Thai Space
BEIJING 北 京
Wangjing SOHO serves as the landmark of Wangjing urban space with its predominant architectural presence. As a horizontally spread out building, Tower 1 anchors the plot with its building end; the other one being the high point of Tower 3. It's a point of convergence full of urban opportunities. The site presented itself as a challenge as how to respond to the city with its three open edges.
As an anchoring tenant, its three sides are a continuous curve, with only one straight edge. There are seven columns that lean into the space with various degrees. It's also a challenge as how to proactively get the columns engaged into the space making.
The space will be used as a Muay Thai place. The fighting ring is the central program. The ring is 5m in square, with a height of 800, or even 2m if counting the railings. It's highly visible with its elevated massing in the open space. On the other hand, programs such as shower and changing happen in an enclosed space. A linear volume is applied to the west edge. It condenses foyer, bar, and shower and changing area into one space and leaves the rest to the open area, maximizing the spatial potential. The ring is placed within the space that is surrounded by the four slanted columns, forming the visual focus of the entire space. This is consistent with the plan of a theater: the shrinking end of a fanning plan is used for the stage while the open area is for the audience. The ring becomes the stage.
How to resolve all the issues mentioned about within a structural synthesis is in the final analysis. An arch system is applied to all the bays between the columns on the south, north and east sides. Along the east-west axis, a series of arches are also created between the columns. These nine arch controlling lines form the very basis of structural genesis. To loft between the pairs of arches, a series of surfaces are produced. All these surfaces are joined into one continuous canopy after trimming. The arch shapes are controlled by adjustable conic curves, achieving spatial efficiency while remaining its continuity. The continuous canopy is split at the height of 2m. The upper part is partitioned along the east-west axis, forming the ceiling components. The lower parts are contoured vertically, forming the pillars that support the ceiling. This not only differentiate the two conceptually, but also functionally: the pillars need to be solid as to interact with people directly, while the ceiling needs to be open as to accommodate all service conduits. All these components are digitally cut by with 18mm thick density boards. The seams of these component panels are arranged in a fashion that achieves both spatial effect and material efficiency. The lighting above the ceiling are arrayed and lit upward so that the diffuse light from the ceiling can penetrate the panels, creating a soft ambient light environment that one can totally immerse within.
The four pillars within the open space concentrate on plan, the arches contract in section, and the ring is staged on a platform. All these add to the effect of total enclosure for anyone on the ring. The program areas on the open plan are defined by varying ceiling heights: high at the apex of the arch in the center for training area, and low at the edges for miscellaneous training areas. The arches also respond to the unban challenge set above: bringing Muay Thai, a highly competitive sport back to the coliseum symbolically.
于是，以西边的三根柱子为边界，布置一个线性的体量，将门厅、茶水吧、洗浴更衣等功能集中压缩在这个空间中，而将剩余的面积都给了开放训练区，最大限度实现空间集约与开放。拳台则被安排在了端头四根柱子包围的空间中，这样使得剩余开放空间更加完整，拳台也处于了视觉的焦点 。这与经典剧场平面的概念同出一辙：扇形收缩的平面上，缩小的端头为剧场的舞台 ，平面开放方向为观众席。拳台即是舞台。
在场地与功能策略基本确定后， 如何用结构方式将这些矛盾综合解决便成为最终问题。场地南、北两条弧边柱子间各有两跨，加上东边一跨，在这五个柱间空间起拱；在东西走向上，分别在三组南北相对的柱子间起拱。这九组拱控制线构成了结构生成的最初形态。南北两组边拱进行放样，东西轴线上的一组控制拱线进行两两放样，加上东边空间弧拱的放样，便形成了一组拱形曲面。曲面间进行相互剪切后便形成了统摄整个空间的控制曲面。拱线由圆锥线控制弧度，在保持连续的同时，最大化的争取了空间的使用效率。控制曲面在2米标高处断开，上边进行东西向切分，形成吊顶，下边进行垂直向切分，形成柱子。这一区分不仅在概念上强调了两者结构的区别， 而且满足了使用功能：柱子接触人体，需要实体保护，吊顶包含隔离各种设备管线， 需要通透。所有构件为18厚的高密度板进行白色烤漆，分缝也考虑了空间效果以及构件加工最大尺度。吊顶上方满铺向上照亮的灯带，利用楼板反射下来的间接光源打亮吊顶，产生弥漫在光环境中效果。开放空间四根柱子在平面上形成收缩的空间， 加上拳台的抬高和拱顶在立面上的收缩，在拳台上比赛训练的人被空间立体地包裹。中间的开放空间拱顶最高点为4米，为开放训练区；边拱最高点为3.2米，结合布置器械区等功能，由吊顶高度来划分功能分区。拱的存在给了城市界面一个应答，将泰拳这种竞技运动象征性地回归到角斗场的意向中去。