Dec. 2014

Tencent Inc. interviewed Di Shaohua, founder of Praxis d’ Architecture



Projects on interior design and architect models of nine young architects from 751D•LAB were shorted-listed in the event of Art Design at 2014 Beijing Poly Autumn Auction. This was a platform that the ‘751 Beijing Design Week – International Design Festival’ provided young designers with for discoveries and try-outs so that more of them could design their dreams. , Tencent Inc.(‘Asia-home’) interviewed Shaohua Di, one of the 9 short-listed architects and founder of Praxis d’ Architecture on the topics of ‘design and utility’ and ‘how architecture blends in with its environment’.

Time of interview: Nov. 28, 2014
Location: Art Design Event, Poly Auction 2014 Autumn Auction at the National Agriculture Exhibition Centre in Beijing.
Interviewe: Shaohua Di, founder of Praxis d’ Architecture
Journalist: Yao Ru Liu

Asia-home: What’s the original concept behind this project of yours ?
Shaohua Di: The project is at the lake shore and there is a unique characteristics of the site, we sought a piece of architecture that is deeply embedded in the site, and to create fluidity through the integration of the building and its environment.

Asia-home: How is it manifested ?
Shaohua Di : One can walk straight from the pathway to the roof, then from the roof to the bank. The architecture is a shared walkway connecting the water below and the road above and becomes part of the bank. The generic boundary between the roof and facade, between a building and its ground became blurred.

Asia-home: What’s inside space like?
Shaohua Di: The inside is sky-lit and spacious. Light comes in from the side windows in between the tilted ceilings, generating soft and reflective light. The dynamic roof generate a rich indoor ceiling profile, providing spaces of various heights and abundant light.

Asia-home: Aside from your idea, more importantly, you must consider its utility, and how to provide people with comfort.
Shaohua Di: Yes, and this is very important. When you transform an idea into an architecture, there will be lots of functional and technical problems to be solved. We always think of these problems as opportunities that can bring new possibilities that satisfy both the client’s need and our own agenda. In fact, we seek new practical solutions to justify our idea, but we also allow the idea to be altered if it cannot prove to be practical. We care more about comprehensiveness and clearness of of a logical solution rather than sticking to one particular idea.

Asia-home: Any regrets after you completed this project?
Shaohua Di: During construction, there were issues that we couldn’t manage. For example, due to budget constrain we used a cheaper substitute material for the elevation and it has not turned out as ideal as we had originally proposed. A decent building lies on good detail design, deep understanding of materials and meticulous execution. A mature architect must face the challenge and consider how to turn a design idea into an actual building for comfortable daily use. This is an area that we work diligently on.

Asia-home: Thank you for your time for taking this interview.