A ring that rises from the ground: symbol of union, connection, as well as a full open approach to the world, the ancient city and the future one. A sinuous green roof that refers to the mountain skyline of the Sichuan area. Itis called The wave and itis the project for the new Chinese station in Xi’An, at the end of the ancient Silk Road: the proposal signed by Mograph Studio won the first prize of the Manni Group Design Award, the debut edition of the competition in collaboration with YAC dedicated to the sustainable architecture of the future.
A double victory for Giovanna de Simone and Matteo Amicarella, the two young architects of Pescara, Italy: in addition to being selected by the jury of international archistars, their project also received the Gold Mention Rockwool, main sponsor of Manni Group, for the attention reserved for the life cycle of the building.
The Rockwool’s Mention of Honor
«We were particularly sensitive to Mograph Studio’s project where working on ground shape gives a natural nest for the diverse human activities but leave the earth breath intact» specifies Bernard Plancade, Managing Director of Rockwool. «What is a point of concentration between contrasted activities like travelling or resting, dreaming or working, thinking or running? So we should leave different spaces independent but connected at the same time. Sound comfort and safety also become of the utmost importance. In this work of ground shaping, main components like Steel, Glass and Stone of this mineral construction could be reused or recycled and will limit the construction impact. At the same time they will give to the construction high resilience to time and hazards».
The new Xi’An railway terminal will not only physically connect the East with the West, but it represents the link between the historical background and the future development of China. The ring, therefore, is the symbolic shape that connects the several systems involved in the project: in a culture like the Chinese one, where the concept of dualism – between earth and sky, light and dark, mortal and immortal, yin and yang – is so strong, it could not be anything but the unique key of the project.
A dialogue between earth and sky
A building designed to connect, in all directions: as the sky is attracted by the earth and generates an inflection in the soil, so a part of the earth detaches from the ground trying to reach the sky. The man in the middle allows the meeting between them to occur.
This powerful encounter generates a garden roof – created with GreenROOF, born from the partnership of Isopan and DAKU – which refers to the mountain skyline of the Sichuan area, creating a beautiful succession of peaks and valleys that allows the visitors to approach the building on different levels and to walk through all the perimeter in a high park that walks over the railways, relinking the two half of the area. When the earth rises, it shows China’s ancient roots: here, in the passing of time, between the past and the future, the man has his place.
At the center of the ring a huge round garden: this garden opens to the sky and aims to create new biodiversity, une boule de nature, a green beating heart. Each passenger, approaching Xi’An new train station will be pushed into a big forest so that trees, plants, water will be the first elements that the visitors will see from the train.
The garden gives the opportunity to experiment a modern Chinese garden, circled by the sinuous path of the roof. A mountain, a tangible element that rises from the earth to reach the sky, allowing men to do the same. From the triad ‘Earth-Man-Sky’ comes an open building where millions of roads will intersect, millions of journeys will start and end.