suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
yaohua WANG: Nanjing Lab is a plant growing lab located in the historical area of Nanjing. Different from traditional plant labs, which focus on the attributes of plants themselves, the purpose of the Nanjing Lab is to test plant behavior inside Nanjing City—for instance, how the plants react to the polluted city air and daily dust. Therefore, the design focuses on how to let the plants interact with the outside environment and, meanwhile, still remain in control of it.
In order to do this in Nanjing Lab, all different plants have been put into separate containers that stick out from the main volume of the building, into outside environment. The containers provide the ability to let though sunlight and a controlled amount of air. At the same time, the form of the landscape around the building helps to create different humidity and solar conditions, letting all the containers interact with a unique environment.
In the middle of the lab, there is a central robot arm to take the core of the container out and put into storage for further plant research. The control room for the robot arm is located on the south side of the building, with a 180-degree inside view and two blob windows to the exterior.
Two big C channel steel beams are the main structure of Nanjing lab. They lift the main body of the lab off the ground to provide space on the underside for the plant containers. In between the C channel steel beams and the body of lab space is a hydraulic mechanical system to absorb the impact on the structure resulting from movement of the central robot arm.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
yW: . . .
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
yW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
yW: Wes Jones, Hernan Diaz Alonso, and Oyler Wu.