Photos © Yao Li
A couple days ago Alex posted this great piece on the USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport, which to me looked like some kind of ancient apartment building that had been recently uncovered. The building had been getting a lot of flack for the way it looked, and in fact, our own readers took to our Facebook to point out that it looked like it had “been bombarded”. which kinda cracked me up.
I thought I’d continue with the theme of “bombardment” and present the CIPEA No. 4 House by AZL Architects, which is located in Nanjing, China, and looks like it’s been through quite a bit.
The first thing I thought when I looked at CIPEA No. 4 House is that it looks like someone took a shotgun and started shooting the sides of it. But the seeming scatter spray of shotgun pellets gives the surface a texture that breaks up the overwhelming whiteness. Then there’s the panelling that wraps the buildings surface, which reminds me of old paper, curling and distorting, or of a wall that’s begun to disintegrate. I suppose to some this might sound like a negative critique, but the way that AZL has executed this concept is stunning. It feels like a mindful deconstruction of a space, taking apart the very idea of what a traditional wall is.
I doubt that a building like this would be the right fit for most homeowners, but I think it’s one of the things that I love most about eastern architecture, that they choose to create uniquely shaped homes that defy western conventions. This to me is what innovation looks like.