Ninja Homes: Sliced Porosity


Not all of our Ninja Homes features will be bougie singl-family homes, peoples…

Steven Holl is at it again - chasing after an idea of ‘porous’ architecture/design. His recent project for NYU’s Department of Philosophy seems to have been a success - where Holl investigated porosity as it applied to a project of much smaller scale [one building]. Now the firm is stepping it up, designing a ‘Sliced Porosity Block‘ in Chengdu, China. Scheduled to open in 2010 [pretty soon, right? I can’t believe its the future already…], this ‘giant chunk of a metropolis’ will house a hybrid complex of public spaces, bordered by 5 jagged towers containing offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, restaurants + more. All contained on a 105,000 square foot site, the development is meant to maximize public open space while creating a type of ‘micro-urbanism’.


The overall ‘look’ of the project is that of an enormous city block, or mega block [I always preferred LEGOs myself - and yes, I could tell the difference], that is carved, sliced, and distorted to create a feeling of openness while maintaining the sense of interconnectivity. Look’s mostly as if it’ll be a monstrously monolithic creation, but who knows - we’ll have to wait and see. Here’s some more info, from courtesy of Steven Holl Architects:

The a€Sliced Porosity Blocka€™ will be located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road. Its sun sliced geometry results from minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code. Porous and inviting from every side, five vertical entrances cut through a layer of micro-urban shopping before leading to the elevated public a€Three Valleya€™ plaza. A great urban terrace on the scale of Rockefeller Center, this multi-level plaza in the center of the complex is sculpted by stone steps, ramps, trees, and ponds and caters to special events or to a casual afternoon in the sun. Here the public space parallax of overlapping geometries in strict black and white is supercharged by color that glows from the shops positioned underneath the plaza.

The three generous ponds on the plaza are inspired by a poem by Du Fu (713-770), in which he describes how a€Time has left stranded in Three Valleysa€™. (Du Fu was one of ancient Chinaa€™s most important poets, who spent a part of his life in Chengdu). These three ponds function as skylights to the six-story shopping precinct below, and are pierced by diagonal stray escalators that thrust upwards to three a€buildings within buildingsa€™. Residing on voids in the facades of the sculpted blocks these pavilions are designed by Steven Holl (history pavilion), Lebbeus Woods (high tech pavilion), and Ai Wei Wei (Du Fu pavilion).


Your achievements overshadowed
any in the Three Kingdoms;
most famous of all was your design
for the Eight Formations.

Against the rivera€™s surge,
they stand solid, immovable,
a monument to your lasting regret
at failing to swallow up Wu.

- Du Fu, The Eight Formations

The project is also going for a LEED gold rating. The project utilizes geo-thermal heating + cooling, uses the large plaza ponds to harvest rainwater while the natural grasses + lily pads both partially clean that water, and create a natural cooling effect. Additionally, the design calls for high-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of local building materials.


Previous posts involving Steven Holl, over at our architecture page AMNP:

Furniture by Steven Holl

Steven Holl Architects : Linked Hybrid

Steven Holl : NYU Department of Philosophy

7th BIA: SA£o Pauloa€™s International Biennial

::All images + info courtesy of Steven Holl Architects::

.::Check out our previous a€Ninja Homesa€ features->


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Posted: September 17th, 2008
at 11:30am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,ninja homes

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