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Architectural Association (Luis Fraguada)

 

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Oct '05 - Jan '07

 
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    CHINA: Day 2 . . .

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    This image has nothing to do with introducing this day, but it was a camera prominently placed at the suitcase house

    Oh man, still lost, but the swarm keeps me sheltered. People walk backwards. For now, I do not understand why, but if I figure anything out from this trip, it will be why people walk backwards.

    This was a long day. Began by visiting a large Chinese Architecture group. Not necessarily what I had hoped to do in China. It was interesting, but I wanted to be a tourist. This was basically a precursor to a visit to the Villa by the Great Wall at Badaling.

    On the way to Badaling (North of Beijing about 60 minutes) I started ot notice the Great Wall all around me. But it would be a few hours before we could visit this.

    The Villas by the Great Wall are basically the closest thing to an architecture museum.

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    While most of the villas seemed to me to be some sort of modernist interpretation, the Suitcase House by EDGE HK was impressive.

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    Impressive because the house never seems as if it could have a static final form. From the outside, it is a long rectangular box. From the inside, it is a long rectangular box. In the floor of the home, panels can be pulled up to reveal functional space. The kitchen can be revealed from the floor, as well as beds, bathrooms, storage, and windows.

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    I beleive that if all of the compartments were open, one could not readily walk anywhere through the house, which is why I think this was very interesting. The way the home functions is fluid in its possible configurations. Throughout the day, a person could go through several configurations of open and closed compartments. Also, there is a staircase which can be pulled from the ceiling to gain access to the roof. Also, this was one of the villas that was not showing its age after only three years.
    suitcase house at arcspace

    Then, the Great Wall . . . and oh how great it is.

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    While the entrance at Badaling is quite touristy, I enjoyed looking at all of the things for sale.

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    Since there was a sliver of sun left on the wall, Brian and I were eager to get there to shoot it. Oh how wrong of us to be eager.

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    The topology of this wall is extreme.

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    After 5 minutes of running up the stairs we were wasted. We would continue on this for the next 20 minutes of so until we got far enough that we could not continue. There was a fence that told us not to go on.

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    It was strange, on the other side of the fence the wall was unkempt, overgrown, and broken.

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    To me the wall definitely lived up to expectations. I mean, once you are there, it really is great. It is all around you.

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    DRL playing shuttlecock game dubbed 'feather'

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    The rest of the evening (after a 2.5 hour ride back to Beijing . . . rush hour) was focused on eating and dancing. The last club saw the contingency of greeks, hispanics, a tall Belgian, and some other DRLers united in partyhood. Giant club, complete with bouncers cose at hand in case we got too rowdy, which to them did not take much . . .
     

     
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