This design is an unconventional manifesto for sea-viewing platforms. Why are the conventional sea-viewing platforms filled with numerous fencings and railings blocking the scenery and limiting the possibility of activities? Shenzhen, where the project is located, is a typical city of high-density development in contemporary China. In the past 40 years, it has transformed from a traditional small fishing village into an international city, with a sea-viewing platform located on the last natural coast of Shenzhen, Xichong.

The territory waters of Xichong are famous for the fishery and tourism industries. In an incidental circumstance, fishermen shared with the designers the local technique of “Gongyu,” a method to decrease the energy consumption and minimize the oxygen loss in the lungs, thus allowing the fish to survive three days without water. This “improvisation” method uses the force and tension of the fishing line to restrains and controls the movement of fish, thus fully illustrates the local fishermen’s wisdom.

The site is a semi-arc platform, constructed with heavy railings and concrete ground. The project employs a low-cost renovation budget (about 2,500 USD) and uses the locally available fishing line as the primary material, creating a smooth, transparent and unique space, a stage for interaction or observation of the sea.

Before entering the pavilion, visitors pass through fences of different heights and spacings, perceiving the distance from the seascape, which cherishes and nurtures the scenery. As they enter the pavilion, the lines form an artistic scene through the curvilinear site. The scattered natural light, shadow, and the sound of wind together present a rhythm, providing an experience of the diversity and richness of the environment.

The design employs sturdy steel plates and delicate lines in combination with a unique tensile structure. Moreover, the dunes and stones are used in creating an interior landscape to present the most significant regional characteristics of the Xichong – vast mountain forests and coastlines.

Intangible Sound was initially installed for the 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB). After the exhibition period, the client decided to keep Intangible Sound as a permanent public sea-viewing shed. This miniature architecture is a manifesto and an experiment that changes the short-term life cycle of installations and truly integrates into the life of the village and perpetually provides fishermen and children opportunities for various activities.

Project details

Design: HAS design and research
Project Location: Xichong Beach, Dapeng New District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Typology: Permanent infrastructure
Built: 2019
Site area: 120 m2
Gross built area: 80 m2
Design team: Jenchieh Hung, Kulthida Songkittipakdee, Jiaqi Han
Client: Xichong Resort (Shenzhen Workers’ Nursing Home)
Construction: Shenzhen Fengzhiyu Public Art Co., Ltd.
Photo credits: © Yu Bai, Kintoo Photography

HAS design and research

HAS design and research

HAS explores Asia’s architectural language through a “design + research” parallel approach; it emphasizes the analogy of nature and man-made nature, looking for another kind of new natural architecture through the city’s own derivatives, named “The Improvised, MANufAcTURE and Chameleon Architecture”. HAS work encompassing cultural buildings, religious architecture, installation art, exhibition design and experimental projects. HAS research includes the train and railway markets, the charming roadside vendors, the borderless illegal constructions under the elevated freeways, and the roundabouts of dead alleys. These interesting scenes typically exist in Asian cities, where temporary construction truly reveals how people can find a “new” nature in the reinforced concrete city.