Sky Mountain is one of the buildings of the Pavilions by the Seaside initiative, a visionary project encompassing 16 public structures tracing the coastline of Hainan Island, China’s burgeoning port city. Anchored in the ethos of ‘Nature, Symbiosis, and Future,’ Pavilions by the Seaside sprawls over 10,000 square meters, a coastal narrative unfolding across 32 kilometers from the embrace of Haikou Bay to the shores of the Jiangdong New Area development zone on Hainan Island.

Beyond its sheer scale, this project has summoned the creative prowess of global luminaries, spanning China, Korea, Italy, and America, and notably featuring the distinguished Thai architect Ong-ard Architects. Their collective vision aims to transcend Haikou into a ‘cultural destination,’ redefining the waterfront lifestyle. Sky Mountain, the second public building of the project, bears the signature of the revered Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, officially making its debut at the beginning of 2023.

Encompassing a generous 3,600 square meters, Sky Mountain draws inspiration from the undulating landscape, mirroring the contours of mountain ranges with sinuous curves. Fujimoto’s design manifests as a poetic dance of white waves interspersed with revolving green spaces at its core. This intentional configuration invites individuals to immerse themselves in an environment seamlessly connecting with the coastal allure, fostering a nuanced dialogue between nature and human existence. The architectural marvel unfolds in three distinct realms—beneath the canopy, in the sky, and amidst verdant expanses—each a testament to the project’s thoughtful integration.

The canopy extends over three main zones: the library, cafes, and an exhibition space with a bunch of shops. The grandeur of transparent, expansive glass curtains ensures that visitors maintain an unbroken visual link with the external landscape, even as they traverse the building’s interior. Placed in close proximity to the windswept shores, the structure is swathed in a bespoke, thick-paneled glass shell for safeguarding.

The building’s white concrete envelope is a parametric design that reveals distinct slopes dictated by various algorithmic inputs and is nothing short of a visual symphony. This exterior shell doubles as both the ground and rooftop, ensuring seamless transitions and continuous exploration. Tiered seating zones crown the edifice, beckoning individuals to revel in the expansive vistas of mainland China, absorb the local hustle, and conclude their day with a front-row seat to the stunning sunset skyline.

Sky Mountain unfolds as a natural progression in Sou Fujimoto’s body of work. It gracefully merges landscape and architecture, potentially drawing inspiration from forms that echo the natural surroundings, reminiscent of Japan’s Hida Furukawa Station Eastern Development or the House of Hungarian Music in Budapest. Yet, Sky Mountain asserts its own identity and narrative, transforming into a public structure along the coastline, inviting individuals to unwind or engage in various activities.

Infused with contemporary architectural aesthetics and a profound connection between people and nature, Sky Mountain symbolizes an inspiring reclamation of the sea, shoreline, and surrounding vistas for the local community. As a piece of the grand scheme of Pavilions by the Seaside, the structure stands as a meticulously designed and materialized architectural marvel. It plays a pivotal role in the careful reshaping of coastal living, emerging as a distinguished landmark on Hainan Island courtesy of the unique and iconic design crafted by the architectural maestro, Sou Fujimoto.

Similar Posts