The Two

The Two


Xiamen, China

The Two is one of the first buildings constructed in the Jimei New City district of Xiamen, China. The site is dominated on all sides by new construction, noise and visual chaos. The building is designed with maximum flexibility in mind because once development of the surrounding residential and commercial areas is complete the building will transition from the developers sales office into a Community Arts Center.

An entry through a garden removes one from the hustle of the city. Asymptotic curved walls of honed black basalt draw visitors in while screening undesirable views of adjacent buildings and construction. These walls create a sense of compression toward the entry, before releasing visitors into the open interior space. A large central garden surrounded by curved glass walls brings in daylight, provides a connection to nature, and strengthens the facilities inward view-focus. The garden is also designed as a cool air generator, drawing in air through operable louvers for natural ventilation. A continuous clerestory that brings daylight to the perimeter of the building integrates louvers to exhaust the heated air that rises to the top of the building.

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