Yide Lu Materials Exchange & Experimental Fabrication Studios
The M2XF prototype studio on Yide Lu in Guangzhou is an experimental facility to promote the alteration and expansion of the Guangzhou local economy towards one of creative productivity. The building facilitates this change by allowing for rapid and fluid exchange of materials and knowledge.
Essential to this goal is the fluidity of a single stream, large bandwidth circulation path. By focusing the circulation allowances of the building program into a single multi purpose path a high degree of flexibility, happenstance, and mobility is achieved. The vertical circulation of the entire building is conceptualized as a street which has been wrapped and folded at it's block divisions to form a continuous ramp. This is allowed for by a long and narrow building footprint such that accessible slopes (1:12) are maintained throughout. The folds/corners in the building act as intersections do in the urban realm, as nodes of activity and informal meeting points.
The building is globally organized as a service base with a central structural/service column that supports living and working unit floor slabs. The service base is laid out in two floors, the first being an open plan to allow for flexible partitioning for various exhibition and sales venues. The street ramp begins at the midpoint of the ground floor extending to the back where a mezzanine platform houses classrooms for internal and external education. The ramp continues to the main floor where it enters the shared production floor and points one directly towards the forum which is composed of a 2:3 broad stepped social stair which faces on to the production floor through a modifiable fritted partition wall. Housed at the top of the forum steps, hung over the sidewalk and street is the cafe whose seating spills back out onto the steps. The continuous surface of these three ambiguous programmatic elements creates an active/passive gradient that encourages the bleed through of ideas sprouted over lunch directly into direct material experimentation and production. By center-piecing the shared productive zone within the frame of ancillary activities creative productivity is foregrounded as the ultimate activity of this heterotopic space.
Installed above this pedestal of communal activities are the unit floor slabs which hang from the structural core and are connected by a continuation of the street ramp which joins staggered floor plates on either side of the core. These plates can be configured in a variety of plans to accommodate differing mixes of working places and living spaces. Commonly, the plates will gradient from productive activities near the core to private living quarters at the edge of the plate. By maintaining the street ramp through this component of the building, the businesses on each floor will be able to interact immediately and directly with their neighbors on the adjacent two floors. This will foster creative cross pollination, competition, exchange, and the sharing of resources to promote a highly fertile creative environment.
The flexibility and specificity of the generative section allows for morphological change in the plan of the ramp slot type while maintaining spatial coherence. While restricted to sites of at least 225' long the ramp slot type can expand laterally from 40' to 120'. Transverse expansion and contraction of the plan allows for programmatic elaboration and alteration resulting from a rule set based on functional needs such as circulation, egress, and environmental factors. These functional needs also act as the limit of the type as beyond a certain width the type begins to be disrupted by it's own girth.