FRONT DESK 2012-2013

Site: Beijing
Time: 2012-2013
Status: Completed
Size: 4 sqm
Project Architect: Di Shaohua
Team: An Zhaoxue, Feng Jiancheng, Lu Dongxia, Feng Shuxian

The beginning is a beginning as well as an end; the end is an end as well as a beginning. – Miyazaki Hayao

The purpose of a front desk is to create a buffer zone between the entrance and the working sector. The intention is to create a 3D curved surface to define a curved path, and consequently a smooth transition from the entrance to the work area.

Among those many ways to realize the 3D surface, we finally chose PVC tube that is cheap, easy to mount, stable and permeable. To align one side of the tube and cut the other side at many different lengths to construct the surface seemed to be a logical solution, albeit very expensive.

An alternative is to construct the surface in two steps. In step one, using extruded foam board (EFB) that can be easily cut to make a mold, and in step two, generating the surface by PVC tubes of equal length (40CM). During this process, the straight side of the EFB is the basis to generate the 3D surface at the other side which in turn, is the basis to generate the 3D surface by PVC tubes. In the end, we got two objects, one by EFB, and the other by PVC tubes.

For the two 3D surfaces by two materials, one is derived from lines and the other from dots. The EFB mold is a means to realize the PVC tube front desk – it is the beginning, but in the end, it becomes part of the front desk. The means becomes the end. The PVC front desk is the result we always wanted – it is the end, but it gives us surprises: it is a front desk, but also a screen, a sculpture, when separated, two or three benches, and maybe a beginning of another story…