This is how it looks like in our imagination:
The Port of Shekou in Shenzhen is one of the most important distribution centers and transit ports in South China. After going through the customs, visitors could head for Hong Kong International Airport or Macau without any transfer during the trip. The Shekou Passenger Terminal is bustling with tourists from home and abroad and those who go on business trips. The question is how to create an attractive place for rest in a volume of 125 cubic metres.
Foundation-building >Assembly of the main framework>
Installation of weathering steel plates>Hoisting
Construction is a process where designers’ dreams collide with the reality, where constant adjustment has to be made without discarding the original concepts when the proposal turns out to be unrealistic. The top of the Kiosk is composed of several steel plates and a keel structure akin to that of umbrellas to underpin the former, instead of curved surfaces which could’ve acted as part of the framework as expected in the first place. At first, the designers meant to display the attributes of stainless steel. But the tricky welds and unevenness rendered it impossible. So the material was polished, plastered with putty, painted with Fluorocarbon paints to be complete and smooth. This experience not only enables architects to have a better understanding of materials and craftsmanship of all sorts, it’s also a practice of using different approaches to express the same idea.
Installation of the stainless steel-made top> Handcraft
polishing> Welding edges of the bottom> Undercoat
painting> Deliberation on the height of the edge-welding
As time goes by, the greenery on the top will be flourishing with branches and leaves hanging down. We are looking forward to next spring when the plants blossom.
A giant umbrella-like flowerpot rises from this urban green land, underpinned with a column which contains facilities such as the irrigation and drainage system as well as electric supply for lighting. On the top of it are planted various plants, including philodendron, ivy, bougainvillea and so forth. Not only can these plants offer visitors a pleasant view, but also a comfort for those who work in the surrounding high-rises. The curved stainless surface has a wide angle like a rearview mirror, dramatically reflecting both the environment and human activities.
A young family just disembarked from the ferry. The parents were booking a hotel at the square. Their little daughter ran under the Flower Umbrella with a plush toy bought in the zoo and let the designer guess what animals she had seen there.
A lady was taking a short break with her Labrador Candy who was apparently attracted to the little boy playing under the Umbrella. The latter was a little bit afraid, with his eyes fixed on his off-camera mother.
Finnish industrial designer Katja has been working in Shenzhen for three years. He largely designs coffee machines and catering products. While awaiting the ferry bound for the Hong Kong International Airport, he talked about the craftsmanship of the Umbrella and his design ideals.
Under the Kiosk, people who either await ferries bound for different places or just arrive here from far and near could read books, talk and have picnics. The lawn is also a perfect place for children to frolic. By injecting all these greenery into Shekou Industrial Zone and leisure into the fast-paced life of inhabitants in Shenzhen, the Flower Umbrella can bring distinctive urban culture into the square.