Echo of the Sea / Tongyi Architects
The “Echo of the Sea” is located in the Rongcheng Ailian Bay Scenic Area surrounded by Swan Lake. Swans travel south from Siberia to spend the winter, and lotus flowers bloom in summer. Therefore, this beach in Ailian Bay is very popular among local residents and tourists. Thinking about how to simply and interestingly respond to nature becomes the primary entry point of design. Although it fulfills the basic supply functions, it interferes as little as possible with the existing natural landscape. Therefore, how to capture the balance between “hidden” and “explicit”, “external scale” and “internal space” was also considered throughout the project.
The building simulates the shape of a shell. The land-facing facade is a small sand dune that extends from the ground and blends naturally with the beach; while the facade facing the sea reacts to the expanse through the mirror-like curved glass. The sea also creates a 360-degree audiovisual panorama for two senses.
The overall shape of the building, from an 18-metre diameter semi-circular arch, slopes gently to a 40-metre diameter semi-circular arch on the ground, finally blending gently with the beach. The building height can be divided into three-part semi-circles: the height from 0.00 to 1.2 m is the area that cannot be used for concrete filling; The height of 1.2-2.4m is the distribution room of the whole building and the wiring area of air conditioning, water, electricity and other equipment lines; 2.4 to 3.6 m height determine the main function.
Below them, at the wider end on the north side, is a coffee shop with greater depth and height. The cafe opens its sliding doors to get the maximum view of the sea and ample sunlight to the south. The narrower end on the south side is equipped with the functions of vending machines and children’s corners. There are two passages inserted into the central slant of the arch to guide visitors from the Swan Lake Trail to the entrance to the circular corridor inside the building, where a footbath, toilet and shower are designed by combining the two passages became.
Behind the glass curtain wall overlooking the sea, a semi-outdoor curved corridor is designed to connect different functions. When designing, by choosing a special one-way light through curved glass, the interior also has enough sunlight and an invincible sea view. Upon entering the corridor, visitors enter the delicate and blurred boundaries between inside and outside, transmission and reflection, light and shadow, and experience a unique sense of space that seems separate, but also of nature with the movement of the sun, moon, and movement of the stars.
The coastal environment dictates that concrete is one of the few highly corrosion resistant building materials that can be selected. By repeatedly confirming the size with the local construction team and consulting the details of the formwork, the final presentation effect of the exposed concrete in the natural beach environment is unexpectedly good. The wooden lattice on the hallway floor can effectively filter the fine sand brought in from the beach and is connected to the more delicate gray terrazzo floor of the functional area. The super large single use curved laminated glass is made by a professional glass manufacturer. In the production process, the process technology is strictly controlled, and the wavy deformation of the mirror film of the glass during hot bending is reduced. It is then transported to the place of use for lifting with cranes. By controlling the opening size of the curved concrete wall behind the glass, the building can display an elegant and balanced effect of proportion even when illuminated at night.
Finally, for safety reasons, a natural rubber material was chosen for the roof. Through the experiment of mixing the natural color particles of different rubber colors, the portion closer to the color of this beach has been completed, so that the entire building can be perfectly hidden in the environment. People can freely climb to the top of the Echo of the Sea building along the gentle slope. Admire the beauty of the sea from above. The sea is an inseparable part of this small town and is embedded in the blood and soul of every wealthy person. “Echo of the Sea” responds to people’s love for the sea. It lies here and listens to the sound of the sea with you and me.