Qinrong Liu

MArch I

A Latent Paradise in the Belly of the City: Food Markets in Southeast China

Advised by Peter Rowe and Max Kuo

The market is a place that brings people the experience of exuberance and the expectation of a feast. It does not only feed the belly of the city, but also takes the interior land of the city to grow itself. Distinguished from other modern shopping spaces, a traditional food market has no brands or simulations. It is all about the social culture and atmosphere of community in the constant interaction between vendors and customers, the ever-changing flow and groceries.

The way a market is built is not much different than a primary hut or temporary tent architecture due to its simple and open structure. The juxtaposition of its ephemeral building character and its spatial inertia induces the expedient form of market. In a congested Asian urban circumstance, the externality of the market leads us to a discussion of the thickness of skin, the abstraction of signification, and the threshold of boundary.

The negotiation of a large-span roof system and how it is occupied and perceived has a long history from Vladimir Shukhov to Pier Luigi Nervi. The project is to explore the architectural relationship between generic large-span architecture and dense urban housing to trigger the hidden social space that nests in the back face of the city, and to examine the edge condition and tectonics that could emerge in the conversation between these two types of buildings and programs.

Qinrong Liu, MArch I.
Qinrong Liu, March I. The market is nested inside a block enclosed by 7 buildings. The property right of the block is belong to the village community other than the state, thus the land inside the block is not regulated by the planning code. The Row housing built and owned by villagers, Work-unit fund raising apartments are built and owned by the workers of the village.
Qinrong Liu, March I. On the plan the market is divided into two elements schematically: 1. open ground with matrix of stands covered by the tent canopy 2. enclosed spaces that has circulation in it while accommodates stalls, such as cooked food or aquatic products that requires more environment control, and works as supporting structure. The Roof system of the market stretches out from the interior courtyard to the street, from beneath the ceiling of the existing building to the high ground of the market.
Qinrong Liu, March I. This project has a very palpable feature that the complex of buildings and market has multiple layers of 'faces' or 'interfaces' confronting the different programs and different publicity in urban circumstance. The converge of the large span generic space and the dense living bar buildings is the first synthesis of faciality. The exterior face of the building is mostly retained in the design is to respond to the possible policy regulation and political restriction on the street front/urban space.
Qinrong Liu, March I. The interior faces of the buildings is autonomous, because they are not supposed to be curbed by the city but governed by the villagers residence community. In this way, we create the large scale hidden paradise in the back face of the city. With the continuous civic surface n the ground, when we enter the market or the courtyard embedded in this mega block, the distinct facility on different sides of the market defines the spatial experience for both the visitors and the residents. The roof landscape serves as one abstract monumental face, while the interior of the market has a face that tectonics and large span structure are clearly expressed. Some parts of the facades and roof on the edge are read as one continuous surface and embody the edge space a certain transition moment from its monumentality to it intimacy.
Qinrong Liu, March I. The interior faces of the buildings is autonomous, because they are not supposed to be curbed by the city but governed by the villagers residence community. In this way, we create the large scale hidden paradise in the back face of the city. With the continuous civic surface n the ground, when we enter the market or the courtyard embedded in this mega block, the distinct facility on different sides of the market defines the spatial experience for both the visitors and the residents. The roof landscape serves as one abstract monumental face, while the interior of the market has a face that tectonics and large span structure are clearly expressed. Some parts of the facades and roof on the edge are read as one continuous surface and embody the edge space a certain transition moment from its monumentality to it intimacy.
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